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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Mega Thread Archive Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 05/28/2017 12:06 AM

Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/28/2017 12:06 AM
Thread 5 for SpaceX's development of a Boca Chica launch site.

Thread 1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28585.0

Thread 2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31544.0

Thread 3:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35425.0

Thread 4:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41017.0

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There's also a dedicated L2 section for the new SpaceX facilities:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42426.0

---

Only several million views for the four previous threads. Great work by all concerned, not least those local - such as Nomadd and others. Remember to keep the posts on the topic of this thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 05/31/2017 10:12 AM
$3M Road Project Underway to Facilitate SpaceX
http://www.krgv.com/story/35550679/3m-road-project-underway-to-facilitate-spacex
Quote
Cameron County Administrator David Garcia said this is the kind of prep work that state and local entities are doing to facilitate SpaceX.

“They’re working with the county on pre-designing the area where they are going to put all of their buildings. They are also working with us to make sure they have all the information we need so when they pull permits, it’ll be a smooth process,” he said.

One communications antenna is already up. A second is set to arrive later this year.

Right now, UTRGV already has an astronomy building partially built near the site. SpaceX, Garcia said, will soon follow with its own buildings.

“They will have an emergency station out there that will be, I think, the first building that they build,” Garcia said.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 05/31/2017 10:31 AM
USS Independence nears end of 16,000-mile trip
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_3e960b14-45ab-11e7-8432-8bf34b11a9a8.html
Quote
The former USS Independence aircraft carrier is scheduled to enter the jetties of the Brazos Santiago Pass between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Thursday on its way to International Ship breaking Ltd...

Navigating the jetties is no problem, though the tugboat pilots insist on waiting until slack tide to bring the Independence through the pass and into the Brownsville Ship Channel, since the vessel is very large and a some of the turns are difficult, he said...

A ceremony to honor the decommissioned carrier and the veterans who served aboard it will take place at Dolphin Cove in Isla Blanca Park on the southern tip of South Padre Island...

Speculation: If the Port of Brownsville shipping channel is large enough to handle aircraft carriers, it should also be able to handle BFR / ITS.  There's plenty of cheap real estate available along the channel, and plenty of cheap manufacturing labor in the area.  From there they could ship it any launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/31/2017 12:06 PM
Maybe it's not /cheap/ manufacturing labor they're after.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: DOCinCT on 05/31/2017 01:44 PM
$3M Road Project Underway to Facilitate SpaceX
http://www.krgv.com/story/35550679/3m-road-project-underway-to-facilitate-spacex
Quote
Cameron County Administrator David Garcia said this is the kind of prep work that state and local entities are doing to facilitate SpaceX.

“They’re working with the county on pre-designing the area where they are going to put all of their buildings. They are also working with us to make sure they have all the information we need so when they pull permits, it’ll be a smooth process,” he said.

One communications antenna is already up. A second is set to arrive later this year.

Right now, UTRGV already has an astronomy building partially built near the site. SpaceX, Garcia said, will soon follow with its own buildings.

“They will have an emergency station out there that will be, I think, the first building that they build,” Garcia said.
The article also referenced launches beginning in 2018.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 05/31/2017 03:27 PM
Maybe it's not /cheap/ manufacturing labor they're after.

Why not?

If you locate your manufacturing plant in an area that has a lower cost of living, then you often find higher quality workers for less money.  In particular, if you're looking for workers with many years of experience in welding, the Brownsville area has a lot to offer.  In addition, people that live in areas with fewer options for employment are often more motivated.

Also remember that the ITS engines, avionics, basically anything that can be shipped over land will still be built in Hawthorne.  So for an ITS manufacturing plant, you wouldn't be making the smaller complicated stuff, just the larger structures.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 05/31/2017 05:04 PM
My niece's husband is a welder, and he works in Corpus Christi because the pay is higher there.  A group of them carpool back to Brownsville on the weekends to be with family.  He said there are many qualified welders in Brownsville, and the pay is lower in Brownsville because there are not as many jobs there.

I think SpaceX will be able to find many skilled laborers in the valley that would be willing to work for less than in other areas of Texas and the rest of the country.  I'm sure that's one of the reasons they picked the Boca Chica launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rpapo on 05/31/2017 05:16 PM
I'm sure that's one of the reasons they picked the Boca Chica launch site.
Perhaps, though it being the southernmost east-facing stretch of beach in the continental USA probably had a lot to do with it too.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: RedLineTrain on 05/31/2017 06:21 PM
Maybe it's not /cheap/ manufacturing labor they're after.

Why not?

If you locate your manufacturing plant in an area that has a lower cost of living, then you often find higher quality workers for less money.  In particular, if you're looking for workers with many years of experience in welding, the Brownsville area has a lot to offer.  In addition, people that live in areas with fewer options for employment are often more motivated.

Looks like SpaceX will need folks in some numbers who are experienced in working with carbon composites.  Does Brownsville have this skilled workforce?

I assume that Musk would go to some lengths to assemble the Mars rocket in LA.  For instance, Long Beach Airport has some nice property, what with Boeing wrapping up C-17 manufacturing there.  But I don't see how he could get it to port.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 05/31/2017 06:28 PM
 One reason pay is lower in Brownsville is because it can be. Browse Zillow in Hawthorne and the RGV. See what you can buy for $250,000 in both places. And, how much state income tax do you pay on $100k in California?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 05/31/2017 08:46 PM
I'm sure that's one of the reasons they picked the Boca Chica launch site.
Perhaps, though it being the southernmost east-facing stretch of beach in the continental USA probably had a lot to do with it too.
I did say labor costs was one of the reasons. :)  The lower latitude is important also, but it's hard to believe that 2.5 degrees of latitude is that important compared to Cape Canaveral.  According to my calculations the eastern velocity due to rotation is 935 MPH at Boca Chica versus 914 MPH at Cape Canaveral.  I wonder how much the extra 21 MPH saves on fuel, or increases the payload mass.  The lower latitude also requires less fuel when doing an inclination change to get to an equatorial orbit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: stcks on 05/31/2017 08:50 PM
The lower latitude is important also, but it's hard to believe that 2.5 degrees of latitude is that important compared to Cape Canaveral.  According to my calculations the eastern velocity due to rotation is 935 MPH at Boca Chica versus 914 MPH at Cape Canaveral.  I wonder how much the extra 21 MPH saves on fuel, or increases the payload mass.  The lower latitude also requires less fuel when doing an inclination change to get to an equatorial orbit.

Its probably going to be about the same as launching from the Cape given the required doglegs and trajectory to avoid landmasses.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 05/31/2017 09:35 PM
Its probably going to be about the same as launching from the Cape given the required doglegs and trajectory to avoid landmasses.

I was going to mention the dogleg trajectory but you beat me to it!

Still, I suspect total launch costs from Boca Chica will be lower.  There are hundreds of items that add up to the total cost. The dogleg trajectory is just one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 05/31/2017 10:14 PM
Looks like SpaceX will need folks in some numbers who are experienced in working with carbon composites.  Does Brownsville have this skilled workforce?
Right, but how many workers are skilled in manufacturing huge carbon composite structures in L.A.?  Remember, SpaceX is famous for home growing manufacturing expertise from essentially nothing.

Also, as Elon says, it's not the machine, but the machine that makes the machine.  That's the thing.  So they'll need workers to build and maintain the huge manufacturing hardware required to form the carbon composite structures for ITS.

I assume that Musk would go to some lengths to assemble the Mars rocket in LA.  For instance, Long Beach Airport has some nice property, what with Boeing wrapping up C-17 manufacturing there.  But I don't see how he could get it to port.

Musk is on record saying BFR/ ITS it will be built near the launch site, or in a seaport where it can be shipped to a launch site.  Note that the Brownsville sea channel satisfies both of these requirements at once.

In L.A., acquiring huge amounts of real estate on a port would be very costly.

By contrast, the Brownsville shipping channel has huge amounts of cheap vacant land available right on the sea lane, and the sea lane is large enough to handle aircraft carriers and huge drilling rigs for offshore oil platforms.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 05/31/2017 10:53 PM
One reason pay is lower in Brownsville is because it can be. Browse Zillow in Hawthorne and the RGV. See what you can buy for $250,000 in both places. And, how much state income tax do you pay on $100k in California?

Exactly.  And that has a ripple effect.

If you need to get your car serviced, the labor rates for the mechanics that fix it will be lower, so you'll likely pay less.  Or if you hire a plumber to fix your drain...  Or if you go out to eat...  And by the way, if you want to send your kids to college, the University of Texas at Brownsville tuition is $1,200 per year for in-district residents (http://www.collegecalc.org/colleges/texas/the-university-of-texas-at-brownsville/).

If labor rates are less, many things cost less. That doesn't mean the quality is worse.  It just means the cost of living is much lower, so the same quality costs less.

In fact, I would say that people who live in or near big cities have a somewhat warped frame of reference.  Real estate prices are based on supply and demand.  If an area offers generally higher pay, home prices go sky high due to competition.  So a lot of that six-figure salary just pays for the mortgage, property tax, and home insurance.

By contrast, in smaller towns, homes cost a lot less, taxes are lower, and services are more affordable.  People don't drive expensive cars, and they don't buy $3000 TVs, but the general quality of life is good.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Kansan52 on 05/31/2017 11:31 PM
Dave G, I was right there with you until the $3000 TV. People everywhere seem to want there Really Big Television (RBT)!

Living in a low cost part of the country, I have had conversations with California ex-pats that start with comments on how low cost housing is here in middle America. Afraid to brag too much as we might start a land rush.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/01/2017 09:13 AM
Dave G, I was right there with you until the $3000 TV. People everywhere seem to want there Really Big Television (RBT)!

Actually, as I was typing, I was going to say $5000, but then I checked and easily found a Samsung 75" 4K TV for $2500 (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-75-class-74-5-diag--led-2160p-smart-3d-4k-ultra-hd-tv-silver-black/3938599.p?skuId=3938599).  Anything more than that, and you're buying the latest premium priced feature (OLED, HDR, etc.).

But we digress.  My main point is that people who live in areas with a lower cost of living - they're generally paid less. 
That doesn't mean they're lower quality workers. Often the opposite.  That's what I meant by "cheap labor".
In my mind, "cheap" doesn't imply low quality.  It just means it costs less.

Combine cheap labor with dirt-cheap land prices, low taxes, plus business friendly local and state governments, and you have a compelling reason for a company to locate a large manufacturing plant in an area far away from any large city.

In fact, Elon Musk has already given us an example of this with the Tesla Gigafactory. That's located around 20 miles from Reno, NV. Comparing Brownsville with Reno, the similarities are striking.  They're both cities with a population of around 200,000.  They're both located far away from any big city metro area.  They both have a small international airport, and a small state university.  Most importantly, they both have a low cost of living.
https://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator/compare/reno-sparks-vs-brownsville

So these are some of the reasons I suspect SpaceX will build BFR/ITS along the Brownsville shipping channel. The economics are perfect.  What other U.S. seaport hosts aircraft carriers and has such low operating expenses?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Cowboy Dan on 06/01/2017 10:37 AM
No idea where SpaceX falls on the "Unionized Labor" front, but Texas is mostly considered to be an "Open Shop" state, and hence, can generally get away with paying lower salaries/wages. "Labor" is always going to be your greatest overhead expense. Link all this with NO state income tax and a large, eager, readily available labor force, and I see all kinds of possibilities for production originating from the RGV.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: manoweb on 06/01/2017 11:38 AM
About welding: while the area might have lots of excellent welders, how many are advanced TIG superalloy (insert whatever fancy space-grade process here) welders? I do not think the BFR will be stick welded.

About the cost of labour: there are many associated costs in the development of a program far away from a "rich" area. Mr. E. Musk's other company is doing so in Nevada, so they will probably have quite some experience. However there is always going to be a lot of people that needs to be relocated, some of them may not be willing to relocate or consider a position etc...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/01/2017 12:42 PM
However there is always going to be a lot of people that needs to be relocated, some of them may not be willing to relocate or consider a position etc...

Yes, SpaceX will need to relocate some people, but I doubt it will be a lot of people. 

Again, for BFR/ITS, I believe all of the complicated stuff like engines, avionics, etc., would still be manufactured in Hawthorne. So the BFR/ITS manufacturing plant would only be making the larger structures.

As such, I suspect they'll only need 1 or 2 engineers to relocate there.  Specifically, manufacturing engineers.  The BFR/ITS development engineers would remain in Hawthorne, but would visit Brownsville frequently.  That's where Brownsville's international airport comes in handy.  The airport is only 4 miles from the Port of Brownsville shipping channel.

For workers with specific skills, but without college degrees, I'm guessing they'll only need to relocate 6-10.  These people would likely be promoted to group-lead or management positions. As such, they would be responsible for training the remaining locally hired workers.

Then you have a lot of generic worker skills: e.g. machine operators, material handlers, security guards, secretaries, custodians, etc., etc..  All of these would be hired locally.

So for a plant of around 100 workers, perhaps only 8-12 would need to be relocated. The rest would be local hires.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Brovane on 06/01/2017 12:58 PM
I am sure I will be shouted down but I am going to put out that it stands a reasonable chance that SpaceX could build ITS at Michoud.  Especially if we see a deal between SpaceX and NASA (US Gov) for cooperation on the ITS.  In exchange for government money, SpaceX builds the ITS at Michoud.  There is a strong Aerospace worker base already near the facility, the facility has easy access to water for transportation and it sits almost directly between Boca Chica and the Cape.  So if we see ITS launch facilities eventually at both the Cape and Boca Chica, building at Michoud makes easy transportation to either one.  Also, the John C. Stennis rocket testing facility is nearby.  SpaceX will be wanting to do ground testing of the ITS and Stennis could accommodate full duration burns of ITS stages. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: matthewkantar on 06/01/2017 01:14 PM
  There is a strong Aerospace worker base already near the facility

These aren't the workers you're looking for.

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Jim on 06/01/2017 01:15 PM
  There is a strong Aerospace worker base already near the facility

These aren't the workers you're looking for.

Matthew

why not?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 06/01/2017 01:47 PM
In a related industry (heavy machinery manufacture)
I have seen "old school" workers rehired that bring their "old school" habits and work ethic back with them and it can be disruptive...
Sometimes it's better to go to a green field site and just train a new work force...
The key is the training methods used... and hiring people who can learn and remember...
Just my 2 cents...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Jim on 06/01/2017 01:54 PM
In a related industry (heavy machinery manufacture)
I have seen "old school" workers rehired that bring their "old school" habits and work ethic back with them and it can be disruptive...
Sometimes it's better to go to a green field site and just train a new work force...
The key is the training methods used... and hiring people who can learn and remember...
Just my 2 cents...  ;)

Most of Hawthrone's tech force is over 40
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jpo234 on 06/01/2017 02:00 PM
Most of Hawthrone's tech force is over 40

Hawthorne as in SpaceX HQ or Hawthorne as in City in California?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cscott on 06/01/2017 02:15 PM
I seem to recall that SpaceX built McGregor specifically to avoid the use of the very-expensive Stennis test site.  Something about how SpaceX managed to do tests with under a dozen workers at McGregor which took a staff of forty at Stennis.  My memory is fuzzy here, maybe someone can dig up the exact citation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 06/01/2017 02:22 PM
I seem to recall that SpaceX built McGregor specifically to avoid the use of the very-expensive Stennis test site.  Something about how SpaceX managed to do tests with under a dozen workers at McGregor which took a staff of forty at Stennis.  My memory is fuzzy here, maybe someone can dig up the exact citation.

See this transcript..
https://zlsadesign.com/post/tom-mueller-interview-2017-05-02-transcription/ (https://zlsadesign.com/post/tom-mueller-interview-2017-05-02-transcription/)
Related thread here...
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.0 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.0)

Related quote... from transcript...
Quote
In my previous career, when we were at TRW, we ran an engine; it was a big engine, a 650,000 lb engine, but it was very simple. And we ran it at a government test site; NASA’s test site at Stennis. And they had a crew of 100 people, basically. They had two shifts of about a hundred people. And we ran an equivalent complexity engine, maybe not that size, but a 40,000 lb engine at our site, and we could run it with like between 5 and 10 people. So that’s what I was looking for; even running a large pump-fed engine like the Merlin engine, it doesn’t take an army of people to run an engine like that. And I think the government contractors have convinced themselves it does.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Brovane on 06/01/2017 02:39 PM
I seem to recall that SpaceX built McGregor specifically to avoid the use of the very-expensive Stennis test site.  Something about how SpaceX managed to do tests with under a dozen workers at McGregor which took a staff of forty at Stennis.  My memory is fuzzy here, maybe someone can dig up the exact citation.

So where do you think SpaceX will be doing full duration static fire tests of the ITS stages?  I can tell you it will not be at McGregor. 

What facility already exists that has tests stands that can support loads of 11M lbf and has easy access to water to facilitate the loading and unloading of oversized rocket stages?   
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: RedLineTrain on 06/01/2017 03:05 PM
Looks like SpaceX will need folks in some numbers who are experienced in working with carbon composites.  Does Brownsville have this skilled workforce?
Right, but how many workers are skilled in manufacturing huge carbon composite structures in L.A.?  Remember, SpaceX is famous for home growing manufacturing expertise from essentially nothing.

Well, they just showed a huge carbon composite structure yesterday nearby (Stratolaunch).  You are right in that some companies have taken a greenfield approach when doing large composites -- e.g., Airbus in Mobile.  SpaceX could do the same in Brownsville or some other community like Houston.  Or it could take space in a facility that has already been constructed, such as Michoud.

SpaceX has several options, and I expect there will be some development negotiations.

Quote
I assume that Musk would go to some lengths to assemble the Mars rocket in LA.  For instance, Long Beach Airport has some nice property, what with Boeing wrapping up C-17 manufacturing there.  But I don't see how he could get it to port.

Musk is on record saying BFR/ ITS it will be built near the launch site, or in a seaport where it can be shipped to a launch site.  Note that the Brownsville sea channel satisfies both of these requirements at once.

In L.A., acquiring huge amounts of real estate on a port would be very costly.

Musk is on record as saying that BFR/ITS will be built near the launch site, but he has been known to change his mind when presented with a deal that's too good to pass up.  For instance, Tesla buying the NUMMI plant even after it had committed to building a plant in Arizona.  Musk wasn't scared away by perhaps the most expensive labor in the United States.

You never know, perhaps Los Angeles would facilitate some infrastructure changes to accommodate SpaceX in some fashion.  There are just some huge unused facilities and a ready workforce.  That's why he was in El Segundo and then in Hawthorne.

In my fanciful musings, I half expect Musk to invest in Sergey Brin's airship to move BFR stages around.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JasonAW3 on 06/01/2017 03:32 PM
Looks like SpaceX will need folks in some numbers who are experienced in working with carbon composites.  Does Brownsville have this skilled workforce?
Right, but how many workers are skilled in manufacturing huge carbon composite structures in L.A.?  Remember, SpaceX is famous for home growing manufacturing expertise from essentially nothing.

Well, they just showed a huge carbon composite structure yesterday nearby (Stratolaunch).  You are right in that some companies have taken a greenfield approach when doing large composites -- e.g., Airbus in Mobile.  SpaceX could do the same in Brownsville or some other community like Houston.  Or it could take space in a facility that has already been constructed, such as Michoud.

SpaceX has several options, and I expect there will be some development negotiations.

Quote
I assume that Musk would go to some lengths to assemble the Mars rocket in LA.  For instance, Long Beach Airport has some nice property, what with Boeing wrapping up C-17 manufacturing there.  But I don't see how he could get it to port.

Musk is on record saying BFR/ ITS it will be built near the launch site, or in a seaport where it can be shipped to a launch site.  Note that the Brownsville sea channel satisfies both of these requirements at once.

In L.A., acquiring huge amounts of real estate on a port would be very costly.

Musk is on record as saying that BFR/ITS will be built near the launch site, but he has been known to change his mind when presented with a deal that's too good to pass up.  For instance, Tesla buying the NUMMI plant even after it had committed to building a plant in Arizona.  Musk wasn't scared away by perhaps the most expensive labor in the United States.

You never know, perhaps Los Angeles would facilitate some infrastructure changes to accommodate SpaceX in some fashion.  There are just some huge unused facilities and a ready workforce.  That's why he was in El Segundo and then in Hawthorne.

In my fanciful musings, I half expect Musk to invest in Sergey Brin's airship to move BFR stages around.

Well, you might be able to hire Stratolaunch's new bird, to at least haul the ITS itself around.  (Assuming they can figure out how to raise the plane up to clear over 12 meters...

http://newatlas.com/stratolaunch-worlds-largest-plane/49820/ (http://newatlas.com/stratolaunch-worlds-largest-plane/49820/)

Of course, it would be even better if it could be used as an alternative booster for the ITS, but that would be a BIG stretch!  (Pretty sure the plane's central spar's not high enough for the ITS to clear the ground).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 06/01/2017 03:34 PM
Or make the composite structures whereever (even hawthorne) and transport by helicopter or plane to the seaside assembly plant. The individual tanks shouldn't weigh too much? I am assuming that there is individual tanks?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JoerTex on 06/01/2017 03:36 PM
I started stopping by McGregor as it first was beginning improvement.  Before special test stands, just the legacy 'stool' and the public road was less than 100yds from the stand, tanks around.  I followed a LOX tanker and was looking around.  Decided to stop at the guard house; no gate but a guard.  We got to talking.  Staff was about 50 employees.  Guard said the average age was 27, and that included him at 65yrs.  At the time much of the staff was local hires, with project teams that flew in from Hawthorne.

A friend was one of the lead engineers at Kwajalein during the first launch attempt, and my memory is that he said they had about 25 folks on the island.

Don't know how Boca Chica will staff, but early in the company time it was clearly start-up.  They used simple automation to manage complex processes; sensors and data collection, didn't need a large launch staff.

Why would they change.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Coastal Ron on 06/01/2017 04:11 PM
Well, they just showed a huge carbon composite structure yesterday nearby (Stratolaunch).

Carbon fiber manufacturing is becoming ubiquitous these days, so I don't think any large manufacturing region (and L.A. is the largest in the U.S.) would have a problem finding qualified workers. Plus the manufacturing equipment for carbon composite manufacturing is becoming more sophisticated, so less touch labor is required.

Quote
You are right in that some companies have taken a greenfield approach when doing large composites -- e.g., Airbus in Mobile.  SpaceX could do the same in Brownsville or some other community like Houston.  Or it could take space in a facility that has already been constructed, such as Michoud.

As long as the region is big enough, and appealing enough to attract high-end workers, then there are lots of options. But even though Brownsville makes a lot of sense, I would suspect that they would have a challenge finding workers to move there, but they might be successful in training up the local work force for their needs.

Quote
For instance, Tesla buying the NUMMI plant even after it had committed to building a plant in Arizona.  Musk wasn't scared away by perhaps the most expensive labor in the United States.

That's because touch labor for many high-end products, and especially in building Tesla cars, is just a small fraction of the total cost these days. Land and factory building costs are bigger factors, which is why the ready-to-use NUMMI plant was so inviting.

Quote
You never know, perhaps Los Angeles would facilitate some infrastructure changes to accommodate SpaceX in some fashion.  There are just some huge unused facilities and a ready workforce.  That's why he was in El Segundo and then in Hawthorne.

I think Musk will do what he has said, and build the ITS near a U.S. launch site.

Quote
In my fanciful musings, I half expect Musk to invest in Sergey Brin's airship to move BFR stages around.

It was not too long ago that such a musing would have been written off as a fantasy. It's amazing how times have changed in just a few short years...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: manoweb on 06/01/2017 04:20 PM
Most of Hawthrone's tech force is over 40

Are you saying that median age of SpaceX workers at Hawthorne is 40? That is difficult to believe if you just walk in front of their building, further corroborated by visiting the actual complex.

I have found at least a website that mentions a median age of 29, but that might be the whole SpaceX and not Hawthorne in particular
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cscott on 06/01/2017 06:14 PM
I seem to recall that SpaceX built McGregor specifically to avoid the use of the very-expensive Stennis test site.  Something about how SpaceX managed to do tests with under a dozen workers at McGregor which took a staff of forty at Stennis.  My memory is fuzzy here, maybe someone can dig up the exact citation.

See this transcript..
https://zlsadesign.com/post/tom-mueller-interview-2017-05-02-transcription/ (https://zlsadesign.com/post/tom-mueller-interview-2017-05-02-transcription/)
Related thread here...
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.0 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.0)

Related quote... from transcript...
Quote
In my previous career, when we were at TRW, we ran an engine; it was a big engine, a 650,000 lb engine, but it was very simple. And we ran it at a government test site; NASA’s test site at Stennis. And they had a crew of 100 people, basically. They had two shifts of about a hundred people. And we ran an equivalent complexity engine, maybe not that size, but a 40,000 lb engine at our site, and we could run it with like between 5 and 10 people. So that’s what I was looking for; even running a large pump-fed engine like the Merlin engine, it doesn’t take an army of people to run an engine like that. And I think the government contractors have convinced themselves it does.
If we're wagering, I'll wager it won't be Stennis either.  I don't have a good guess where it will be. We don't even know where ITS will be built.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Brovane on 06/01/2017 07:01 PM
I seem to recall that SpaceX built McGregor specifically to avoid the use of the very-expensive Stennis test site.  Something about how SpaceX managed to do tests with under a dozen workers at McGregor which took a staff of forty at Stennis.  My memory is fuzzy here, maybe someone can dig up the exact citation.

See this transcript..
https://zlsadesign.com/post/tom-mueller-interview-2017-05-02-transcription/ (https://zlsadesign.com/post/tom-mueller-interview-2017-05-02-transcription/)
Related thread here...
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.0 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.0)

Related quote... from transcript...
Quote
In my previous career, when we were at TRW, we ran an engine; it was a big engine, a 650,000 lb engine, but it was very simple. And we ran it at a government test site; NASA’s test site at Stennis. And they had a crew of 100 people, basically. They had two shifts of about a hundred people. And we ran an equivalent complexity engine, maybe not that size, but a 40,000 lb engine at our site, and we could run it with like between 5 and 10 people. So that’s what I was looking for; even running a large pump-fed engine like the Merlin engine, it doesn’t take an army of people to run an engine like that. And I think the government contractors have convinced themselves it does.
If we're wagering, I'll wager it won't be Stennis either.  I don't have a good guess where it will be. We don't even know where ITS will be built.

If you read the quote carefully, the decision to have the number of people present was a TRW decision as part of a government contract.  It wasn't a requirement by Stennis.  Already SpaceX has used Stennis for Raptor testing.  https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/ (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/)

So you think SpaceX will go through the cost of building from scratch a test facility to support full duration burns of a ITS 1st stage when a government facility already exists that can support this testing?

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Jim on 06/01/2017 07:02 PM

Are you saying that median age of SpaceX workers at Hawthorne is 40? That is difficult to believe if you just walk in front of their building, further corroborated by visiting the actual complex.

I have found at least a website that mentions a median age of 29, but that might be the whole SpaceX and not Hawthorne in particular


There is a difference between tech and engineering groups.  Production line vs desk jobs.   The production force is much older than the engineers. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: docmordrid on 06/01/2017 07:53 PM
Or make the composite structures whereever (even hawthorne) and transport by helicopter or plane to the seaside assembly plant. The individual tanks shouldn't weigh too much? I am assuming that there is individual tanks?

Why? They used Janicki Industries of Sedro-Woolley, WA to build the giant test tank, a company with large aerospace credentials and they'll set up a shop at your facility. ISTM SpaceX could put up a big hangar-like shop most anywhere including the Brownsville shipping channel, a Space Florida site....where ever, close to a launch site. Extra points if it has waterway access, which is dirt cheap transportation using no expensive air assets.

http://www.janicki.com/capabilities/composite-fabrication/

As to Michoud, it may work for any mini-ITS of 10m or smaller, about Saturn V-size, but the full ITS size shown was a 12m core and a spaceship with landing gear/RCS fairings stretching to 17 meters. What's the max crane hook height at Michoud?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: woods170 on 06/01/2017 08:42 PM
If you read the quote carefully, the decision to have the number of people present was a TRW decision as part of a government contract.  It wasn't a requirement by Stennis.  Already SpaceX has used Stennis for Raptor testing.  https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/ (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/)

So you think SpaceX will go through the cost of building from scratch a test facility to support full duration burns of a ITS 1st stage when a government facility already exists that can support this testing?


There is nothing at Stennis that can currently support full duration burns of an ITS 1st stage. It will require some serious modifications to existing test stands. SpaceX might just as well decide to build a new one. Probably not at Stennis.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/01/2017 09:04 PM
I am sure I will be shouted down but I am going to put out that it stands a reasonable chance that SpaceX could build ITS at Michoud.  Especially if we see a deal between SpaceX and NASA (US Gov) for cooperation on the ITS...

If SpaceX partners with NASA on ITS, then yes, we could see it manufactured in Michoud.

But if you look at the role of NASA, it's about exploration. The design of ITS seems optimized for long-term transport, i.e.  hundreds of people paying $500K per ticket to colonize Mars.  Kind of like the difference between Christopher Columbus and the Pilgrims.  Christopher Columbus got government backing.  The Pilgrims didn't.

So to me, ITS seems more like a commercial venture.  In order to finance such a venture, SpaceX will need to grow their business and expand into other areas, e.g. satellite internet service.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 06/01/2017 10:00 PM
This thread is wandering all over. Hawthorne, NUMMI, Stennis, Michaud, even McGregor are all kind of not Boca Chica.

Thanks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Brovane on 06/01/2017 10:07 PM
If you read the quote carefully, the decision to have the number of people present was a TRW decision as part of a government contract.  It wasn't a requirement by Stennis.  Already SpaceX has used Stennis for Raptor testing.  https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/ (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/its-propulsion-evolution-raptor-engine/)

So you think SpaceX will go through the cost of building from scratch a test facility to support full duration burns of a ITS 1st stage when a government facility already exists that can support this testing?


There is nothing at Stennis that can currently support full duration burns of an ITS 1st stage. It will require some serious modifications to existing test stands. SpaceX might just as well decide to build a new one. Probably not at Stennis.

Wouldn't that depend on the thrust level of the ITS 1st stage? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/01/2017 11:09 PM
 Slow news week, but we do what we can. Somebody put up some less generic signs today.
 Indy passed by on her way to the breakers. I always wished they'd make reefs out of them instead.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 06/02/2017 12:01 AM
As one of only two people to dive the Oriskany on the one year anniversary of her sinking as a reef, I couldn't agree more. However, unfortunately I also know the mind blowing expense of such an endeavor. It's a huge shame.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: IanThePineapple on 06/02/2017 12:26 AM
I'm not very fluent on aircraft carrier knowledge, why are there carriers down by Brownsville?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 06/02/2017 12:40 AM
I'm not very fluent on aircraft carrier knowledge, why are there carriers down by Brownsville?

This should answer your question...  ;)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrestal-class_aircraft_carrier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrestal-class_aircraft_carrier)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Cowboy Dan on 06/02/2017 12:50 AM
International Ship Breakers (scrap yard), located in Port Brownsville.  Don't seem to have a web page.  https://www.facebook.com/International-Shipbreaking-Port-Of-Brownsville-160756887336278/
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/02/2017 12:59 AM
I'm not very fluent on aircraft carrier knowledge, why are there carriers down by Brownsville?

Decommissioned aircraft carriers go to Brownsville to get broken down for scrap metal.  They also sell some of the smaller parts on eBay.

As I've said before, Brownsville is somewhat unique.  The shipping channel is world class.  There's maple rail and road infrastructure to/from the seaport.  There's an international airport 4 miles away.  And the land, taxes, and labor are all cheap.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cppetrie on 06/02/2017 01:00 AM
I'm not very fluent on aircraft carrier knowledge, why are there carriers down by Brownsville?

This should answer your question...  ;)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrestal-class_aircraft_carrier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrestal-class_aircraft_carrier)
More specifically one of the largest marine recyclers, International Shipbreakers, Ltd is based in Brownsville and they have been the dismantlers of numerous decommissioned navy vessels including some carriers.
http://us.emrgroup.com/selling-decommissioned-marine-structures
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: IanThePineapple on 06/02/2017 01:36 AM
Wow, I'd just like to walk through that old carrier and see what it's like. Probably empty, dark and overall creepy, but still would be interesting.

Also, how would one obtain a piece of this carrier on eBay...  ::)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/02/2017 01:40 AM
Wow, I'd just like to walk through that old carrier and see what it's like. Probably empty, dark and overall creepy, but still would be interesting.

Also, how would one obtain a piece of this carrier on eBay...  ::)
Way off subject, but I wandered around the Queen Mary all day without seeing another person a few years back. It's easy to see why people think it's haunted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: IanThePineapple on 06/02/2017 02:00 AM
Wow, I'd just like to walk through that old carrier and see what it's like. Probably empty, dark and overall creepy, but still would be interesting.

Also, how would one obtain a piece of this carrier on eBay...  ::)
Way off subject, but I wandered around the Queen Mary all day without seeing another person a few years back. It's easy to see why people think it's haunted.

Oh, we've gone so far from topic. But I'd say it's fine given the really slow updates (not towards you, but just the slow progress down there)

That Queen Mary walkthrough sounds very eery. Was the lighting dim to make it creepier?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 06/02/2017 02:05 AM
Oh, we've gone so far from topic. But I'd say it's fine given the really slow updates 
You'd be wrong. This topic gets a fair bit of latitude[1] compared to most, but do try to stay at least remotely on topic if possible. If you have nothing to say, then saying nothing is often a great approach.

1 - people who contribute a lot of useful information[2] to a thread often get more latitude than those that don't...
2 - even a really profound question can be useful information...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: TomH on 06/02/2017 02:28 AM
I am sure I will be shouted down but I am going to put out that it stands a reasonable chance that SpaceX could build ITS at Michoud.

With overhead cranes removed, the ceiling allows a maximum tank construction diameter of 10.0m as was the case with Saturn V. With the cranes in place, the maximum is 8.8m, as was the case with STS tanks and SLS. You would have to tear off the entire roof, raise the walls, build a new roof, install new cranes. Possible? Sure. Likely? Highly doubtful.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: IanThePineapple on 06/02/2017 02:44 AM
I am sure I will be shouted down but I am going to put out that it stands a reasonable chance that SpaceX could build ITS at Michoud.

With overhead cranes removed, the ceiling allows a maximum tank construction diameter of 10.0m as was the case with Saturn V. With the cranes in place, the maximum is 8.8m, as was the case with STS tanks and SLS. You would have to tear off the entire roof, raise the walls, build a new roof, install new cranes. Possible? Sure. Likely? Highly doubtful.

It would be really tough to transport entire ITS stages by barge, I wouldn't be surprised if they did the New Glenn approach and built right at the site, or even sent it in pieces from Hawethorne to be assembled at the launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/02/2017 04:22 AM
 I think the EIS for Boca Chica said the buildings could be up to 68 feet tall. And there's already something that looks like a beam for a gantry type crane good for 500 tons or so sitting here, which seems excessive for Falcon ops. Maybe good for an assembled FH with maximum payload with lots of margin.
 Everybody was trying to figure out what kind of crane these pieces could make, but there's no real reason to believe they're all for the same crane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/02/2017 10:42 AM
I think the EIS for Boca Chica said the buildings could be up to 68 feet tall.

Relevant sections of EIS (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/media/FEIS_SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Site_Vol_I.pdf) below, with heights highlighted.  Max building height is 85 ft.  Max structure height is 250 ft.

Quote
2.1.2.1 Vertical Launch Area
Proposed facility and infrastructure construction at the vertical launch area would include the following:
• Integration and Processing Hangar (Hangar)
• Launch pad and stand with its associated flame duct
• Water tower
• Lightning protection towers (four total)
• Retention basin for deluge water
• Propellant storage and handling areas
• Workshop and office area
• Warehouse for parts storage
• Roads, parking areas, fencing, security, lighting, and utilities

Integration and Processing Hangar
The Hangar at the vertical launch area would be used for the preparation of the launch vehicle for launch and the final fueling and integration of the payload onto the vehicle. It would require approximately 43,200 square feet (ft2 ) of space (360 x 120 x 65 ft high) and would be constructed of prefabricated steel framework with steel or aluminum sheet walls. To support the Hangar, approximately 30 concrete pilings, 3 ft in diameter, would be installed with an impact pile driver. The Hangar would be air conditioned, and the fueling facilities would have a scrubber system (up to two active scrubbers) to minimize emissions to the environment in the event of a payload fuel spill inside the facility. The scrubbers consist of “scrubbing towers,” storage tank with liquid level indicator, service panel, circulation pump, and a liquid separator with liquid level indicator. The system would be mounted on a “low boy” trailer for easy transport. Spill containment for the scrubber system would depend on the materials used in these systems, and then if required would be sized for 110 percent of the maximum credible spill as required by law. Containment would be constructed of a non-porous material, such as concrete or a non-reactive plastic. The concrete would be lined with a leak-proof barrier that is compatible with the materials handled. The scrubber systems are monitored by testing the residual fluid contained in the scrubber.

Launch Pad
The concrete road from the Hangar to the launch pad would be approximately 75,110 ft2 . The launch pad and stand are used to translate the launch vehicle to a vertical position and to support it on the pad prior to launch. It consists of a concrete and steel structure with a flame duct, a launch mount, and upper deck. To support the launch pad and stand, approximately 20 concrete pilings, 3 ft in diameter, would be installed with an impact pile driver. The height of the entire launch pad would be approximately 50 ft and would require approximately 17,900 ft2 of space. The flame duct would extend east/southeast from the launch pad to direct the heat and combustion products and the initial sound blast toward the Gulf of Mexico. The pad would also include two concrete and steel wings to protect equipment that is required to be very close to the pad. All pad lighting would consist of high pressure sodium (HPS), halogen, or LED (light-emitting diode) light fixtures. However, for safety reasons SpaceX may occasionally require bright spotlighting for short durations (1-2 days maximum) when illuminating the launch vehicle for the proposed one night launch event per year. These spot lights are typically metal halide. The number of pole lights would be finalized during the site design process. SpaceX will coordinate with USFWS and NPS on the preparation of a detailed Lighting Management Plan (refer to Chapter 6 for further information on Mitigation and Special Conservation Measures). The Falcon vehicle system transporter erector would serve as the service tower for vehicle umbilical support while the launch vehicle is vertical. Additionally, four lightning protection towers, approximately 230 ft in height, would be constructed adjacent to the launch pad.

Deluge Water System
One water tower would be installed at the vertical launch area for sound and vibration suppression. The water tower would contain at least 250,000 gal and would be approximately 250 ft high, which is required to provide sufficient pressure to the pad systems. During an actual launch, the water tower would discharge up to 100,000 gal of water for a Falcon 9 launch operation and up to 200,000 gal for a Falcon Heavy launch operation. During a launch, approximately half of the water would be vaporized. All water not vaporized would be contained in a retention basin underneath the pad. This water would then be sampled and analyzed to determine if the water contained controlled contaminants at levels that exceed the TCEQ water quality standards. Appropriate sampling protocols and water quality criteria would be developed in coordination with TCEQ and in accordance with Texas Surface Water Quality Standards Texas Administrative Code, Title 30 Environmental Quality, Part 1 - Texas Commission On Environmental Quality, Chapter 307: Texas Surface Water Quality. Water containing contaminants that exceed the water quality criteria would be removed and hauled to an approved industrial wastewater treatment facility outside of the vertical launch area. All other water not containing prohibited chemicals would be pumped back to the water tower. All water (including deluge and potable water) would be either delivered by truck or withdrawn from a well located adjacent to the water tower, and drilled into a highly transmissive (i.e., yielding relatively large water quantities) portion of the Gulf Coast Aquifer.

2.1.2.2 Control Center Area
Proposed facility and infrastructure construction at the control center area would include the following:
• Two launch control center buildings
• Two payload processing facilities
• Launch vehicle processing hangar
• Two RF transmitter/receivers
• Generators and diesel storage facilities
• Roads, parking areas, fencing, security, lighting, and utilities
• A satellite fuels and gas storage facility

Launch Control Center Buildings
The one-story control center buildings would be approximately 14,186 ft2 and 30-45 ft in height, and would be used for command and control of the launch vehicle, payload, and ground systems during launch and test operations. Each control center building would consist primarily of several large rooms for control consoles, conference rooms, and support rooms. In addition, each facility would house office areas for site personnel.

Payload Processing Facilities
The payload processing facilities would be used to conduct final processing of payloads prior to integrating them with the launch vehicle. This processing would include final spacecraft checkouts, RF checks, payload fueling, and other activities as required. The facilities would be designed to support the processing of two payloads simultaneously, to allow for a better throughput. Each building would be approximately 14,669 ft2 and 65-85 ft in height

Launch Vehicle Processing Hangar
The proposed 30,774 ft2 , 50-65 ft tall launch vehicle processing hangar would be used to conduct refurbishment of flown stages, or for pre-integration preparation of the launch vehicle stages before they go to the pad hangar for final integration. Use of this facility would improve the overall vertical launch area throughput by minimizing the vehicle’s activities associated with the launch vehicle in the vertical launch area Hangar. This facility would be similar to the Hangar at the vertical launch area, but shorter.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 06/02/2017 11:26 AM
Or make the composite structures whereever (even hawthorne) and transport by helicopter or plane to the seaside assembly plant. The individual tanks shouldn't weigh too much? I am assuming that there is individual tanks?

Why? They used Janicki Industries of Sedro-Woolley, WA to build the giant test tank, a company with large aerospace credentials and they'll set up a shop at your facility. ISTM SpaceX could put up a big hangar-like shop most anywhere including the Brownsville shipping channel, a Space Florida site....where ever, close to a launch site. Extra points if it has waterway access, which is dirt cheap transportation using no expensive air assets.


I was only thinking of the highly skilled workforce which presumably doesn't want to be relocated to boca chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Brovane on 06/02/2017 01:50 PM
I am sure I will be shouted down but I am going to put out that it stands a reasonable chance that SpaceX could build ITS at Michoud.

With overhead cranes removed, the ceiling allows a maximum tank construction diameter of 10.0m as was the case with Saturn V. With the cranes in place, the maximum is 8.8m, as was the case with STS tanks and SLS. You would have to tear off the entire roof, raise the walls, build a new roof, install new cranes. Possible? Sure. Likely? Highly doubtful.

It would be really tough to transport entire ITS stages by barge, I wouldn't be surprised if they did the New Glenn approach and built right at the site, or even sent it in pieces from Hawethorne to be assembled at the launch site.

Do you think BO will be doing full duration static Burns of the New Glenn on the ground at the Cape? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: bilboleo1 on 06/02/2017 02:48 PM
I think the EIS for Boca Chica said the buildings could be up to 68 feet tall.

Relevant sections of EIS (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/media/FEIS_SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Site_Vol_I.pdf) below, with heights highlighted.  Max building height is 85 ft.  Max structure height is 250 ft.
[...edited for brevity]

The EIS only indicates the proposed heights of buildings/structures, not the allowable maximum heights. The only true limits on heights of anything would be due to building permits (and their limitations, without a waiver) or other restrictions such as a nearby airport (cleared airspace), public parks or other spaces (historic sites) that require an unobstructed view in SpaceX's direction, or other such covenants and permit requirements.

The buildings can/would be as tall as needed, unless there are certain permit restrictions that apply to the site. Please don't take the EIS as the "Final Word" on what can and cannot be done for site development.

Cheers!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/02/2017 03:00 PM
The buildings can/would be as tall as needed, unless there are certain permit restrictions that apply to the site. Please don't take the EIS as the "Final Word" on what can and cannot be done for site development.

Yes, it's obvious that SpaceX may change their launch site and control center specs between the time of the EIS and the actual development of the site.  But if you read the EIS, it's also obvious that SpaceX put a lot of thought into those proposed specs, and since we have no better source for speculation, the EIS represents our best guess on what will happen.

In addition, if SpaceX proposed an 85 ft tall building in the EIS, I'd say it's safe to assume SpaceX checked with the local permits office to make sure that's possible.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Oersted on 06/02/2017 10:11 PM
Aaand, road construction is in the local news:
http://www.krgv.com/story/35550679/3m-road-project-underway-to-facilitate-spacex
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ChrisC on 06/03/2017 04:10 AM
Aaand, road construction is in the local news:
http://www.krgv.com/story/35550679/3m-road-project-underway-to-facilitate-spacex

FYI for regular readers of this thread, this is the same article as was posted here earlier this week. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1684547#msg1684547)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/03/2017 01:38 PM
Manufacturing plant tour highlights workforce needs
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_642ae64e-466c-11e7-8853-2733ebf514c4.html
Quote
Tella’s Border Stamping Division in Brownsville specializes in stamping and forming parts for the automotive industry, and employs up to 40 skilled workers making $60,000 per year or more. The company operates two other divisions in Lombard, Ill., where it’s headquartered. Tella, which opened the Brownsville plant in 2001, also serves the aerospace, telecommunications and computer industries.

Vela said he organized Wednesday’s event after getting a visit at his Washington D.C. office about a month and a half ago from Stuart Boba, Tella’s chief financial officer.

“One of the things he brought up was that they have jobs available now and in the future, but that at times they have difficulty finding people that can match what they do here from a manufacturing standpoint,” Vela said.

He said he decided it was a good idea to get the company’s people together with local education and workforce-development leaders to find a solution...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/04/2017 12:15 PM
South Texas port directors make case for support
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_47d47e28-480c-11e7-874e-a7cf74c45b07.html
Quote
The ports range from the mega-sized Port of Brownsville, to the smaller Port of Harlingen and Port-Isabel-San Benito Navigation District, and Port Mansfield in WillacyCounty...

A second issue is the low cost of a barrel of crude oil, which has depressed oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico, and forced layoffs in oil exploration firms and support companies, which long have operated out of Texas ports to serve offshore drillers.

The third issue mentioned by all the port directors was how to diversify their operations to attract new businesses.

More info on the Port of Brownsville here (http://www.portofbrownsville.com/).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Oersted on 06/04/2017 08:57 PM
Aaand, road construction is in the local news:
http://www.krgv.com/story/35550679/3m-road-project-underway-to-facilitate-spacex

FYI for regular readers of this thread, this is the same article as was posted here earlier this week. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1684547#msg1684547)

Oops, missed that one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/05/2017 03:09 AM
Drainage remains an issue in Valley
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_8f74d1c8-48d5-11e7-981e-ef09fb3473bc.html
Quote
Drainage: people really don’t think about it until the floodwater creeps up on them.

The Rio GrandeValley experienced its worst flooding in modern-day history in 1967, when Hurricane Beulah hit. The Category 3 hurricane unleashed a torrential downpour that brought with it more than 160 mph winds and caused more than $1.2 billion in damages across the area.

Note that Hurricane Beulah (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Beulah) also destroyed much of the infrastructure of Boca Chica Village (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boca_Chica_Village,_Texas), which is why they now need to have fresh water trucked in and stored in above ground tanks.

Hurricane Beulah (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Beulah) also re-drew much of the shore line, causing many properties that were once on land to become under water, as shown in the blue shaded area of the map.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/06/2017 04:46 AM
As the aircraft carrier USS Independence (a.k.a. Indy) heads into the Port of Brownsville shipping channel on her final voyage before being scrapped, a local new outlet interviews 2 people who served on board.

Nice video.  I liked it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeMB4NoWGb8
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/06/2017 05:21 AM
 This might be the last carrier here. JFK and Kitty Hawk are both up for adoption and they're still figuring out how to handle the nukes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Kenp51d on 06/06/2017 05:43 AM
The Kitty was my last ship. Sad
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: geoffc on 06/06/2017 12:40 PM
Where is Enterprise going for decommissioning?  8 sub sized reactors, instead of a Nimitz classes 2 bigger reactors.  Gonna be a huge mess to handle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rpapo on 06/06/2017 01:42 PM
Where is Enterprise going for decommissioning?  8 sub sized reactors, instead of a Nimitz classes 2 bigger reactors.  Gonna be a huge mess to handle.
To quote Wikipedia:

Quote
Newport News Shipbuilding will deactivate and de-fuel the ship, which will then be formally decommissioned once all nuclear fuel has been removed.  The process started at the downtown piers in Newport News in order to set the conditions required in the propulsion plant for fuel removal. Huntington Ingalls Industries moved the ship on Saturday, 4 May 2015 from Pier 2 to her original birthplace, Dry Dock 11. Newport News employees will continue the defueling process in the dry dock.

Once the Navy completes fuel removal, the ship will be placed in long term storage pending reviews of technical and environmental procedures on how to properly dispose of the carrier.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Enterprise_(CVN-65)#Decommissioning
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 06/06/2017 03:19 PM
Scrapping a ship (or preserving it) involved more than just refueling or removing the reactors. Nearby materials can be become neutron-activated and radioactive themselves over decades. Older ships are filled with asbestos and/or lead-based paints, PCB’s and other toxins. They’re kind of an environmental mess.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/09/2017 08:04 PM
Spanky's Burgers, Brownsville TX
https://www.spankys-burgers.com/

HOME OF THE 5LB SPACEX BURGER

Quote
SPACEX BURGER
100% all american ground beef hand packed, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, may-o served on a very large toasted bun that is out of this world. Approximately 5 pounds.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 06/09/2017 08:14 PM
Spanky's Burgers, Brownsville TX
https://www.spankys-burgers.com/

HOME OF THE 5LB SPACEX BURGER

Quote
SPACEX BURGER
100% all american ground beef hand packed, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, may-o served on a very large toasted bun that is out of this world. Approximately 5 pounds.

Too bad Adam Richman moved on from competitive eating (example: his show Man v. Food).  Perhaps he could have filmed an episode around this challenge.

(I understand he's trimmed down a lot since that series.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: gongora on 06/09/2017 08:16 PM
Spanky's Burgers, Brownsville TX
https://www.spankys-burgers.com/

HOME OF THE 5LB SPACEX BURGER

Quote
SPACEX BURGER
100% all american ground beef hand packed, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, may-o served on a very large toasted bun that is out of this world. Approximately 5 pounds.

A BFB?  (sorry, just had to)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Kansan52 on 06/09/2017 10:32 PM
Yumm.

"Waiter, a SpaceX Burger, a knife, 20 forks, and 20 plates please!"
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/10/2017 12:01 AM
 I've killed a 1-1/2 pound Manuel's Super Burger in Odessa, but 4 of them might be pushing it.
 (Why is this page telling me to meet sexy Russian ladies?)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: DanielW on 06/10/2017 12:49 AM
Don't bite Nomadd! The Russian ladies are agents looking for invites to your lavish launch parties.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/10/2017 06:35 PM
I was only thinking of the highly skilled workforce which presumably doesn't want to be relocated to boca chica.

What are the best aspects of living in Brownsville, TX as a young adult?
https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-aspects-of-living-in-Brownsville-TX-as-a-young-adult
Quote
As a young adult living in Brownsville, you can really enjoy the outdoors and year-round warm weather. This means you can go to the beach with your friends and hang out and have a great time. If Boca Chica beach does nothing for you, there’s South Padre Island with its many restaurants, bars, hotels and water parks. The fishing is also excellent, whether one goes surf fishing, bay fishing or deep sea fishing. There’s surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing. In fact, SPI is considered one of the top destinations in the world for these activities because of the shallow flats behind the convention center. Brownsville also has many outdoor trails for running, hiking or biking. In the fall, there’s white wing hunting and all kinds of other hunting. There are parks and sport parks. There’s soccer leagues. Midnight basketball leagues. There’s museums, restaurants and coffee shops. Find yourself a senorita and you’ll learn to speak Spanish “pronto,” and vice versa. There’s great Mexican food you won’t find anywhere else like menudo, barbacoa, cabrito, and the best fajitas hands down! And to wash it all down, there’s all kinds of Mexican beer. On Friday nights, you and your date can catch one of the many High School football games going on around town. You can also catch some, if not “the Best,” High School soccer in the entire State of Texas. We have excellent soccer players. Our High Schools have won many soccer state championships. The soccer games are super exciting, especially when our kids go up against some of the best in the State. Oh, and don’t forget, the people. Brownsville has the friendliest people in Texas. Oh, and don’t forget good-books radio. And if you are not a beach person, there’s the mall, shopping, even a flea market and a farmer’s market. I could go on and on and on….
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/12/2017 11:28 AM
Port gains expansion ally
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_a71d88c8-4f1b-11e7-8039-1b955ce05c1e.html
Quote
With the passage of CSHB 4021, ports across Texas will have access to a ship channel improvement revolving fund...

The legislation gives the port a second source of funding for its dredging project. In December, former president Barack Obama signed the Water Resources and Development Act of 2016, qualifying the port’s plan to deepen its ship channel by 10 feet for federal funding.

Deepening the channel will allow companies to send in bigger vessels with a heavier cargo. In the past few years, Campirano said the port has seen larger ships more frequently.

“If the ships carrying 55,000 metric tons of steel can increase their cargo load to 80,000 metric tons, their cost goes down. It’s about efficiency and cost,” Campirano said.

It is also about staying competitive. Every port is deepening its channel to 50 feet-plus, Campirano said.

The current channel’s depth is 42 feet. Deepening the channel would cost about $200 million, and an additional $50 million to upgrade the docks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/13/2017 11:57 AM
More news on amphitheater to view SpaceX launches.
http://valleycentral.com/news/local/isla-blanca-park-to-get-new-amenities-amphitheater
Quote
The idea to build the structure was initially brought before commissioners’ court after SpaceX announced they would be launching rockets out of Boca Chica. Eventually, the idea expanded to develop an entire master plan that would give an uplift to the area as a whole...

The amphitheater is expected to seat at least 1,500 people, and will be located on approximately four acres of land...

Construction of the amphitheater could be completed within a year, if weather permits, according to Vega.

A previous news article (http://www.krgv.com/story/33421310/cameron-co-voters-to-decide-on-approval-of-hotel-motel-tax-increase) specified a more exact location for the amphitheater:
Quote
Dolphin Cove at Isla Blanca Park is the proposed site for a sea and air amphitheater.

Dolphin Cove is shown on the map below.

Note that South Padre Island is a very popular resort with many large hotels, most notably the Pearl, also shown below.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 06/14/2017 12:45 AM
More news on amphitheater to view SpaceX launches.
http://valleycentral.com/news/local/isla-blanca-park-to-get-new-amenities-amphitheater
Quote
The idea to build the structure was initially brought before commissioners’ court after SpaceX announced they would be launching rockets out of Boca Chica. Eventually, the idea expanded to develop an entire master plan that would give an uplift to the area as a whole...

The amphitheater is expected to seat at least 1,500 people, and will be located on approximately four acres of land...

Construction of the amphitheater could be completed within a year, if weather permits, according to Vega.

A previous news article (http://www.krgv.com/story/33421310/cameron-co-voters-to-decide-on-approval-of-hotel-motel-tax-increase) specified a more exact location for the amphitheater:
Quote
Dolphin Cove at Isla Blanca Park is the proposed site for a sea and air amphitheater.

Dolphin Cove is shown on the map below.

Note that South Padre Island is a very popular resort with many large hotels, most notably the Pearl, also shown below.

Yea, I heard they where going to start major Renovations to that place next year. On Dolphin cove and Isla Blanca people who live there weren't to happy about that.  There doing that also because of SpaceX Launches which is good.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/14/2017 01:42 AM
 STARGATE is showing some signs of life. It looks like they're bringing in stuff for the 2nd floor inside along with really slow window installation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 06/14/2017 05:26 PM
A paper form of the ITS presentation was published at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu

Relavant to this thread:

Quote
Figure 9 gives you a more direct comparison. The thrust level
is enormous. We are talking about a lift-off thrust of 13,000
tons, so it will be quite tectonic when it takes off. However, it
does fit on Pad 39A, which NASA has been kind enough to allow
us to use because they oversized the pad in doing Saturn V. As a
result, we can use a much larger vehicle on that same launchpad.

In the future, we expect to add additional launch locations,
probably adding one on the south coast of Texas, but this gives
you a sense of the relative capability.

Bold mine. So the intent to fly ITS from Boca Chica is quite clear.

EDIT: attached the paper.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Elvis in Space on 06/14/2017 05:39 PM
A paper form of the ITS presentation was published at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu

Relavant to this thread:

Quote
Figure 9 gives you a more direct comparison. The thrust level
is enormous. We are talking about a lift-off thrust of 13,000
tons, so it will be quite tectonic when it takes off. However, it
does fit on Pad 39A, which NASA has been kind enough to allow
us to use because they oversized the pad in doing Saturn V. As a
result, we can use a much larger vehicle on that same launchpad.

In the future, we expect to add additional launch locations,
probably adding one on the south coast of Texas, but this gives
you a sense of the relative capability.

Bold mine. So the intent to fly ITS from Boca Chica is quite clear.

Does "south coast of Texas" necessarily mean Boca Chica?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/14/2017 05:46 PM
A paper form of the ITS presentation was published at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu

Relavant to this thread:

Quote
Figure 9 gives you a more direct comparison. The thrust level
is enormous. We are talking about a lift-off thrust of 13,000
tons, so it will be quite tectonic when it takes off. However, it
does fit on Pad 39A, which NASA has been kind enough to allow
us to use because they oversized the pad in doing Saturn V. As a
result, we can use a much larger vehicle on that same launchpad.

In the future, we expect to add additional launch locations,
probably adding one on the south coast of Texas, but this gives
you a sense of the relative capability.

Bold mine. So the intent to fly ITS from Boca Chica is quite clear.

EDIT: attached the paper.

"probably"
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 06/14/2017 05:52 PM
Does "south coast of Texas" necessarily mean Boca Chica?

It could mean offshore. SpaceX looked at other sites up the coast and did not pursue them for various reasons spelled out in the EIS. I doubt they would build another coastal site unless Boca Chica and offshore both prove infeasible.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: toren on 06/14/2017 07:12 PM
Another interesting passage from the paper...

Quote
It is a lot of engines, but with Falcon Heavy, which should launch early next year, there are 27 engines on the base.

Bold-face is mine.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rockets4life97 on 06/14/2017 07:18 PM
Another interesting passage from the paper...

Quote
It is a lot of engines, but with Falcon Heavy, which should launch early next year, there are 27 engines on the base.

Bold-face is mine.

Remember the speech took place last year in September.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 06/14/2017 07:21 PM
Another interesting passage from the paper...

Quote
It is a lot of engines, but with Falcon Heavy, which should launch early next year, there are 27 engines on the base.

Bold-face is mine.

It's not clear what year that's referring to, and I think it's early 2017. The paper was published in June 2017, but the contents are entirely from the presentation in Sept 2016. Musk said "3 to 4 months" a couple days ago on twitter, that is probably much more current than anything from IAC.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/15/2017 10:29 AM
So the intent to fly ITS from Boca Chica is quite clear.

It's also worth mentioning again what Elon said before the Texas State Legislature back in 2013.

Here's a transcript from the video clip below. 
Quote
Texas Legislator:
What would be ideal is if we can have that take place, where we launch the commercial site off Boca Chica Blvd there in Brownsville.  And ideally, we don't like those 2000 jobs being in California, we need you to manufacture those rockets over here.

Elon Musk:
Actually you know that's a very important point, and I should have mentioned that, which is the current Falcon 9 rocket is something that can be manufactured in California and road transported... 

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.

Texas Legislator:
And it needs to be at Boca Chica, so that would be great. We would love to see that happen.  Very good.  Thank you again for what you do.

Note that this was before Texas had been selected for their private launch site, and the testimony before the Texas state legislature was all about where their private launch site would be located.  Finalists included Georgia, California, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and Texas.  Basically, Musk was asking what incentives they would offer SpaceX to locate their private launch site in Texas.  To gauge their response, legislators were trying to figure out how many new jobs SpaceX would bring to Texas.  So when Musk says BFR / ITS will be manufactured "where ever this launch site occurs", he's referring to where ever their private launch site occurs, since that was the whole context of the discussion.

You can see the discussion about building BFR / ITS in Texas here, starting around 40 seconds into the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_iu75TFgX8
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/15/2017 11:03 AM
Does "south coast of Texas" necessarily mean Boca Chica?

It could mean offshore.

Yes, quite possibly a few miles off Boca Chica Beach.  This would allow them to use their Boca Chica control center, but they wouldn't need to worry about the Beach closure restrictions.  Remember, ITS uses 6 launches per mission, and they'll probably eventually want multiple missions during each Mars-Earth alignment window.  So every 2 years, they may want to launch ITS once a day or more, and that launch cadence may last a few weeks.

If ITS is launched a few miles off Boca Chica Beach, then the obvious place for the BFR hangar would be along the Port of Brownsville shipping channel.  And as I've mentioned before, it's also quite possible SpaceX will build ITS there as well.

Purely speculation:

Why would SpaceX want to build BFR / ITS in Brownsville?

1) Cost of living is one of the lowest in the nation (https://www.infoplease.com/business-finance/us-economy-and-federal-budget/cost-living-index-selected-us-cities1).  That means inexpensive labor for locally hired machinists, construction workers, secretaries, security guards, electricians, janitors, etc., etc.  Lowering costs is a major goal for SpaceX.  Affordable labor aligns with that goal.  My guess: Of the 100 or so people working at a BFR assembly plant, perhaps only 12 would need to be imported.  The rest could be local hires.  Note: This assumes Raptor engines, avionics, etc. are still manufactured in Hawthorne.  Brownsville would just do the large tank manufacturing and core assembly.

2) World class seaport (http://www.portofbrownsville.com/), capable of handling huge ships (aircraft carriers (http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1172745), oil drilling rigs, etc.).  Setting up a manufacturing facility along this port would easily allow BFR to be shipped to the KSC, VAFB, etc.   There are also new (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_762d4cf2-94ef-11e2-9351-0019bb30f31a.html) highways (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/article_e74ea99e-1b84-58bf-a33d-3714811a58bc.html) specifically built to handle freight to/from the seaport, bypassing Brownsville's city center.

3) An international airport (http://www.flybrownsville.com/) for getting people to/from Brownsville, and for air freight.  Note that this airport is just 5 miles from the seaport.  Very convenient.  They're also going to extend the main runway (http://valleycentral.com/news/local/report-details-planned-brownsville-airport-expansion) in order to handle large air freight.

4) A state university campus (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CC0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.utb.edu%2F&ei=RYYEVcfCH4umgwSHrYCYCA&usg=AFQjCNHApoYzBq6fuBmyTPeNr5EV0wQjvQ&bvm=bv.88198703,d.eXY) with a budding space engineering department.  Note that SpaceX and UT Brownsville are already working together on the STARGATE tracking center (http://www.utrgv.edu/stargate/), just 2 miles from the launch site.  Lots of future synergy also possible there.

5) Some local talent.  The area now has some local aerospace machine shops (http://www.bedc.com/news/paragon-de-acquires-texas-tool-shop-address-demand-southern-states), and ULA also has a manufacturing plant (http://www.valleymorningstar.com/news/local_news/article_285c0712-3c38-11e2-9949-0019bb30f31a.html) just 15 miles away in Harlingen.

6) Available land (https://www.google.com/maps/@25.9458812,-97.3953836,16117m/data=!3m1!1e3) is plentiful and cheap.  Lots of room to expand.  Low property taxes.  Low taxes in general.

7) Clean slate.  Many have played down Brownsville as not having enough existing infrastructure for an aerospace manufacturing plant, but for SpaceX, this may actually be a perceived advantage.  For cost and schedule reasons, SpaceX has often steered clear of established aerospace companies.

To be clear, Brownsville wouldn't have been my first thought for building rockets, but after digging deeper, it seems to have all the right ingredients.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Jim on 06/15/2017 02:54 PM

For cost and schedule reasons, SpaceX has often steered clear of established aerospace companies.


Then explain Hawthorne?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Jim_LAX on 06/15/2017 03:59 PM
Because Hawthorne was a good place to get started.
1. Lots of experienced Aerospace Engineers and Techs in the LAX/El Segundo/Hawthorne area.
2. Buildings available at Hawthorne Airport, and room to expand into more buildings along the length of the Hawthorne runway.
Now that design and mfg are well established it would be costly to move to another state.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/15/2017 05:10 PM
Now that design and mfg are well established it would be costly to move to another state.

Costly but necessary.  Transporting BFR / ITS from Hawthorne to the launch site isn't practical.

Raptor engines, avionics, etc. - basically anything that can be road transported will probably still be made in Hawthorne, but building the large structures and doing the final assembly will either occur near the launch site, or at a manufacturing facility on a sea port.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: RoboGoofers on 06/15/2017 05:24 PM
They'll also be launching ITS from Florida. They might build it there and barge to Texas instead of vice versa.

Building the ITS in Texas would be a good carrot to dangle in front of the legislature in order to get them to lift the restrictions on number of launches and closure of the beach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/15/2017 06:37 PM
They'll also be launching ITS from Florida. They might build it there and barge to Texas instead of vice versa.

Building the ITS in Texas would be a good carrot to dangle in front of the legislature in order to get them to lift the restrictions on number of launches and closure of the beach.
The state of Texas isn't restricting the number of launches.  They might be waiting for more environmental data to amend the EIS. With four launch pads going, they probably won't be in that much of a hurry. Maybe five if they start using 39b. But with weather and range issues affecting all of the Florida pads at once, Boca Chica will still be pretty important. If they shift most of the commercial F9 and FH geo launches here, I'd think they'd want to be able to do at least 24 a year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JasonAW3 on 06/15/2017 07:00 PM
Now that design and mfg are well established it would be costly to move to another state.

Costly but necessary.  Transporting BFR / ITS from Hawthorne to the launch site isn't practical.

Raptor engines, avionics, etc. - basically anything that can be road transported will probably still be made in Hawthorne, but building the large structures and doing the final assembly will either occur near the launch site, or at a manufacturing facility on a sea port.

Somehow, I seriously doubt that SpaceX is going to discontinue building Falcon 9's anytime soon after ITS comes online.  While it may take a long time for the market to need the kind of lofting ability that the BFR has, (Other than for the ITS) there will probably always be a need for lofting smaller payloads in a fairly short order.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: groundbound on 06/15/2017 07:17 PM
Now that design and mfg are well established it would be costly to move to another state.

Costly but necessary.  Transporting BFR / ITS from Hawthorne to the launch site isn't practical.

Raptor engines, avionics, etc. - basically anything that can be road transported will probably still be made in Hawthorne, but building the large structures and doing the final assembly will either occur near the launch site, or at a manufacturing facility on a sea port.

Somehow, I seriously doubt that SpaceX is going to discontinue building Falcon 9's anytime soon after ITS comes online.  While it may take a long time for the market to need the kind of lofting ability that the BFR has, (Other than for the ITS) there will probably always be a need for lofting smaller payloads in a fairly short order.

And any commercial ITS-only payloads that need to launch during Mars launch windows are likely to find themselves SOL.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: docmordrid on 06/15/2017 07:50 PM
Now that design and mfg are well established it would be costly to move to another state.

Costly but necessary.  Transporting BFR / ITS from Hawthorne to the launch site isn't practical.

Raptor engines, avionics, etc. - basically anything that can be road transported will probably still be made in Hawthorne, but building the large structures and doing the final assembly will either occur near the launch site, or at a manufacturing facility on a sea port.

Somehow, I seriously doubt that SpaceX is going to discontinue building Falcon 9's anytime soon after ITS comes online.  While it may take a long time for the market to need the kind of lofting ability that the BFR has, (Other than for the ITS) there will probably always be a need for lofting smaller payloads in a fairly short order.

And any commercial ITS-only payloads that need to launch during Mars launch windows are likely to find themselves SOL.

Unless they start producing an ITS-derived, fully reusable launcher whose operational costs and increased reusability makes it cheaper to fly than the Falcons, even for mid-sized payloads. Methane is pretty damned cheap vs RP-1.

If/when that happens, the Falcon's utility declines to Plan B status using warehoused cores at best, and not worth maintaining its infrastructure at worst.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/15/2017 09:38 PM
Somehow, I seriously doubt that SpaceX is going to discontinue building Falcon 9's anytime soon after ITS comes online.

Agreed.  In fact, Musk sort of mentioned this when he testified before the Texas State Legislature back in 2013.

Starting at 1:05 into the video below, Musk says:
"...the current Falcon 9 rocket is something that can be manufactured in California and road transported.  In fact I set the design diameter and the dimensions of the rocket to be the maximum road transportable object without requiring lifting of power lines and that kind of thing.  So it's roughly 13 feet in diameter and about 140 foot long for the first stage.  And we'll keep doing the Falcon 9 forever in that size."

Building the ITS in Texas would be a good carrot to dangle in front of the legislature...
Musk already dangled this particular carrot back in 2013, starting at 0:40 into the video below.

... in order to get them to lift the restrictions on number of launches and closure of the beach.
To clarify, as Nomadd mentions above, the State of Texas does not limit the number of SpaceX launches per year.  That's an FAA restriction in the EIS.  Once SpaceX is launching regularly from Boca Chica, I suspect they will request the FAA to amend the EIS to allow more launches.

The State of Texas only restricts beach closures on weekends and holidays, and only in the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  This amounts to 33 days out of the year.  Looking at other launch sites, I suspect competitor's launch windows block SpaceX more than 33 days a year.

And again, if SpaceX decides to launch ITS from an offshore platform a few miles off Boca Chica Beach, then the beach would presumably remain open, which means there would be no restrictions from the State of Texas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_iu75TFgX8
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: gongora on 06/15/2017 09:39 PM
They'll also be launching ITS from Florida. They might build it there and barge to Texas instead of vice versa.

Building the ITS in Texas would be a good carrot to dangle in front of the legislature in order to get them to lift the restrictions on number of launches and closure of the beach.
The state of Texas isn't restricting the number of launches.  They might be waiting for more environmental data to amend the EIS. With four launch pads going, they probably won't be in that much of a hurry. Maybe five if they start using 39b. But with weather and range issues affecting all of the Florida pads at once, Boca Chica will still be pretty important. If they shift most of the commercial F9 and FH geo launches here, I'd think they'd want to be able to do at least 24 a year.

The commercial geo market isn't that big. 12 is plenty for now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/15/2017 09:54 PM
The commercial geo market isn't that big. 12 is plenty for now.

The former president of IBM is famous for saying "there is a world market for maybe five computers".  And at the time he said that, computers were so huge and expensive, he was right.  Then in the late 50's, Sperry-Univac started designing computers that cost much less.  With significantly lower costs, the market for computers started to explode.

Similarly, as SpaceX starts offering significant discounts for reused rockets, we'll soon start seeing a lot more commercial satellites.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: lonestriker on 06/15/2017 10:25 PM
The commercial geo market isn't that big. 12 is plenty for now.

The former president of IBM is famous for saying "there is a world market for maybe five computers".  And at the time he said that, computers were so huge and expensive, he was right.  Then in the late 50's, Sperry-Univac started designing computers that cost much less.  With significantly lower costs, the market for computers started to explode.

Similarly, as SpaceX starts offering significant discounts for reused rockets, we'll soon start seeing a lot more commercial satellites.

While I think that the market will definitely expand with SpaceX's cost-cutting due to reuse, the real expansion won't come until costs come down an order of magnitude or more.  With F9 reuse, SpaceX may be able to cut costs to 1/2 or even 1/3 the cost of competitors.  That would still put the launch costs at around $10-20 million.  The real explosion in demand will come with the F9 follow-up vehicle that is fully reusable and 1/10 or 1/100 the cost.

My biggest worry if they get to that cost level, though, is the increase in not only space junk, but also just a giant swarm of new satellites to contend with.  Things that are all covered in their massive Internet constellation being proposed.  It's a nice problem to have, but they have to be vigilant and make sure that stuff de-orbits and don't explode in orbit.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/15/2017 10:35 PM
The commercial geo market isn't that big. 12 is plenty for now.

The former president of IBM is famous for saying "there is a world market for maybe five computers".  And at the time he said that, computers were so huge and expensive, he was right.  Then in the late 50's, Sperry-Univac started designing computers that cost much less.  With significantly lower costs, the market for computers started to explode.

Similarly, as SpaceX starts offering significant discounts for reused rockets, we'll soon start seeing a lot more commercial satellites.

While I think that the market will definitely expand with SpaceX's cost-cutting due to reuse, the real expansion won't come until costs come down an order of magnitude or more.  With F9 reuse, SpaceX may be able to cut costs to 1/2 or even 1/3 the cost of competitors.  That would still put the launch costs at around $10-20 million.  The real explosion in demand will come with the F9 follow-up vehicle that is fully reusable and 1/10 or 1/100 the cost.

My biggest worry if they get to that cost level, though, is the increase in not only space junk, but also just a giant swarm of new satellites to contend with.  Things that are all covered in their massive Internet constellation being proposed.  It's a nice problem to have, but they have to be vigilant and make sure that stuff de-orbits and don't explode in orbit.
Actually the price reductions is strongly tied to sat weight. For medium sats the price reductions is as low as 1/3 that of expendable competitors. But for the very heavy sats the price reduction could be as much as 1/10 (use of an FH where boosters and possibly even the US are reused).

So the incentive would not be for more sats but for heavier sats since they could be launched for just a little bit more than the cost of launch of a medium sat.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/16/2017 01:45 AM
But for the very heavy sats the price reduction could be as much as 1/10 (use of an FH where boosters and possibly even the US are reused).

Very true.

In fact, even without reusing the upper stage, but assuming all 3 first stage cores of Falcon Heavy are recovered for reuse, that flight profile will probably be cheaper than an expendable F9.  So FH-R will be a huge cost savings for heavier comm sats.

With this in mind, I suspect the first 2 things SpaceX will want to amend in the EIS will be:
1) Allow F9/FH first stages to land back at the launch site.
2) Allow more than 2 FH launches per year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Comga on 06/16/2017 04:27 AM
Please put the discussion of the markets response to SpaceX's vehicles and marketing in an appropriate thread.
We don't need this thread about Boca Chica bein diverted to that debate.
We can get back to talking about South Texas on our own or let the moderators reprimand people.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 06/16/2017 01:37 PM
Please put the discussion of the markets response to SpaceX's vehicles and marketing in an appropriate thread.
We don't need this thread about Boca Chica bein diverted to that debate.
We can get back to talking about South Texas on our own or let the moderators reprimand people.
Comga is right.

In my view of this thread I see 3 pages (how many pages is a factor of how many posts per page, which is configurable, so some people with the default setting may see a lot more pages...)... the entire third page seems to be not on topic here. If someone PMs me with a solid thread suggestion, I'll see about moving it all rather than just deleting it all as off topic.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 06/16/2017 03:08 PM
Nomadd - any thoughts as to why the next phase of construction hasn't started yet? Is there still road work going on that might prevent it?

I ask because in the past I could understand pauses, such as while SpaceX recovers from a launch anomaly, or when there needs settling time and wicking time. However right now it seems like it would be the opportune time to get trades in to start the actual construction. Seems like they've pre placed some expensive and apparently new crane components that are just laying there exposed to the elements and not being utilized. Heck, I would have at least expected the crane riggers to begin assembly. Seems a bit odd, unless there's a piece of the puzzle us outsiders don't know about...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/16/2017 07:24 PM
 A crane like that will be assembled in place when they're ready to use it. Even some SpaceX people I've talked to wonder why things haven't started up yet. As much concrete and dirt the pilings and pad will need, I'm sure road work figures into it. And the pad building crew schedule has no doubt changed since the mess at 40. They might not be able to do much with the pad until the specialists are done with all the Florida mods and repairs. Even pouring concrete probably can't start without the right engineers on site because of all the GSE and specialized nature of the flame trench and launch mount. The final design is probably still being tweaked because of lessons learned from all the work on 40 and 39a. Even ITS and mini ITS decisions could change things and might be delaying some decisions.
 I'd guess they want to get the stuff on the hill built for pad work staging and because they probably don't want to wait for everything else to be done before starting on the TEL. Nobody I've talked to has any idea how landing zones will fit in.
 They might have planned to build the pad warehouse the usual way, with pilings to support columns and the slab supported by the ground. If the hill isn't settling like they hoped and they need three times as many pilings for the foundation, it would mean another round of design and geo engineering.
 To sum it up in cliche form, the possibilities are endless.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: simonx on 06/17/2017 04:41 AM
Looks like SpaceX is already having an effect on Brownsville......Proposed:

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 06/17/2017 11:43 AM
I don't think any of that has any thing to do with SpaceX.  That's just part of the northern growth of Brownsville.  Do you have a reference for that?  I wonder when it was published.  It seems like it must have been before SpaceX committed to Boca Chica.

The "planned" Morrison Road extension was built a few years ago.  The proposed tollway is where railroad tracks used to be.  They were taken out a year or so ago.  The vacant land to the west now contains a large housing development.  Those houses have been there for a few years now.

I doubt that the tollway will ever happen.  There are better uses for the old railroad right of way.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: simonx on 06/17/2017 12:30 PM
You mean the northern growth of the poorest city AND county in the entire nation? News about this development did not come out until August of 2015. It takes time to get all the players to commit and/or agree on a project/development of this size, especially when Macy's has repeatedly stated publicly that they would NEVER, EVER build a location in Brownsville.....what was the catalyst that helped them alter their decision about entering the Brownsville market? Why would an upscale department store want to take a chance on a city with those stats/demographics? Throw in the peso devaluation, Trump presidency, and the threat of NAFTA renegotiations, and you can start to see how this project could have easily been delayed. Investors and developers are expecting big things to happen in Brownsville because of Space X.

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_e5a054f8-43b6-11e5-b720-fb6771059512.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/17/2017 12:39 PM
Do you have a reference for that?

After systmdvice's post, I was able to find it online here:
http://archinect.com/people/project/25835307/uptown-brownsville/25937812

Also, here's a Google Maps link to the same area:
https://www.google.com/maps/@25.9715453,-97.5161616,1653m/data=!3m1!1e3
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/17/2017 01:18 PM
http://themchalereport.blogspot.com/2017/06/space-x-project-uncovers-archaeological.html

This is hilarious!  I don't know if it's some type of belated April Fools thing, but it's definitely good for a laugh.

SPACE X PROJECT UNCOVERS ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE!!!
Quote
Space X construction crews may have uncovered the greatest archaeological discovery in the history of the United States as they excavate the site near Boca Chica Beach as part of the much anticipated missile launch program.

"It is indubitably the base of a pyramid," said world renown anthropologist Dr. Tony Zavaleta who also possesses a broad knowledge of archeology predicated on his many indigenous studies and frequent stays in Mexico. "And the foundation is quite substantial.

"When we discuss the Toltecs, Mayans and Aztecs, the Toltecs were the first great civilization and they ventured along the Gulf of Mexico further north than the two empires that succeeded them," continues the retired educator and Texas Southmost College trustee. "This will certainly create a quandary for the politicians and authorities. But the unearthing of this monument is certainly breathtaking."

A blogger and not the Brownsville Herald, as usual, broke the story of the find. Brownsville Observer Publisher Jim "Balls" Barton, a photographer as well as a writer, took pictures of the ruins and posted them on his blog. The McHale Report is in debt to Barton for the art at the top of this article.

"Why isn't the dying daily reporting on this remarkable discovery?" asks Tony Gray, State Representative Rene Oliveira's legislative assistant. "Does Elon Musk, the Space X investor, intend to raze the ruins in order to build his launch pad?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: simonx on 06/17/2017 01:28 PM
Google Earth Pro has North Brownsville in 3D - this property is still untouched, while everything else around it has been developed. I think the developers/investors, especially the ones from Mexico, are still skeptical whether or not SpaceX will actually happen - they want to see real movement out there before they commit to projects. There are tons of rumors out there about what is or isn't in the pipeline regarding development but Top Golf is also looking for a spot in McAllen, and somewhere else in the Valley - It doesn't make sense to build a Top Golf in McAllen, and then build a second Hidalgo County location in Edinburg. Nor does it make sense to place it 30+ miles away in Harlingen - but it does make sense to place one on the other end of the valley 55+ miles away from the possible location in McAllen. I still think people are underestimating what is about to happen in Brownsville because of SpaceX.

http://www.themonitor.com/news/business/article_258880d0-5f55-11e6-b2b3-73a55bdac9d6.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/17/2017 02:24 PM
 I can't wait for the site excavation to discover that ancient Toltecs wore New Balance shoes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/17/2017 03:30 PM
I still think people are underestimating what is about to happen in Brownsville because of SpaceX.

Best case, I see maybe 250 full-time SpaceX employees.  That assumes they build BFR / ITS along the Brownsville shipping channel.  Additional support jobs (plumbers, waitresses, retail workers, etc.) may bring that up to 1000 total new jobs.  In a city of roughly 200,000 people, 1000 new jobs would be nice, but not a huge difference.

For tourists that want to watch the launch, unless they own property in Boca Chica Village, the best place to view the launch will be from South Padre Island, but that's a big resort area where 5 million visitors spend close to $300 million for hotels and tourist attractions (https://southpadretexas.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/spi-economy-is-all-about-tourism/), so I'm not sure the additional visitors brought in by SpaceX will make a big impact.

To make real difference, Brownsville would require several other companies to set up manufacturing sites in the area.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 06/17/2017 03:56 PM
You mean the northern growth of the poorest city AND county in the entire nation? News about this development did not come out until August of 2015. It takes time to get all the players to commit and/or agree on a project/development of this size, especially when Macy's has repeatedly stated publicly that they would NEVER, EVER build a location in Brownsville.....what was the catalyst that helped them alter their decision about entering the Brownsville market? Why would an upscale department store want to take a chance on a city with those stats/demographics? Throw in the peso devaluation, Trump presidency, and the threat of NAFTA renegotiations, and you can start to see how this project could have easily been delayed. Investors and developers are expecting big things to happen in Brownsville because of Space X.

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_e5a054f8-43b6-11e5-b720-fb6771059512.html
According to two Wikipedia articles Cameron County is 91st on the list of poorest counties, and I didn't see Brownsville in the poorest city list.  Brownsville has been growing over the past 30 years that I've been coming down here.  I recall that the population was around 50,000 30 years ago, and now it is over 100,000.  The area along expressway 77 between 802 and Alton Gloor has seen new businesses, hotels, car dealerships and strip malls added over the past 30 years.

My father-in-law lives just south of where all the new houses are going in.  That area was farm land up until a few years ago.  The article you referenced seems to indicate that all the growth is being spurred by the removal of the railroad tracks, but this area has been growing years before that happened.  SpaceX certainly had nothing to do with that growth.

I would be very surprised too see Macy's build at the location shown on the map.  It doesn't seem like a good spot to me.  They would be better off on a site along the expressway closer to Sunrise mall, but most of that land is already developed.  The K-mart near the mall closed recently, and that would be a much better location for them.  If they build where the map shows they'll have to "drain the swamp" first. :)  There's a Resaca located right where their parking lot would be.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: simonx on 06/17/2017 04:36 PM
Huh? As recently as 8 moths ago The Wall Street Journal has the Brownsville-Harlingen Metro area as the poorest in the nation. You are correct - a lot of pieces still need to come together but SpaceX coupled with SATA and their big plans, the 3 LNG plants that are most likely to get FERC approval that will require 10,000 construction employees working simultaneously over a 4-5 year period + almost 600 full time employees after construction is complete - and the one I'm waiting for more than anything - Big River Steel's decision whether to expand their facility in Arkansas, or invest $1.5 Billion at the Port of Brownsville, which will produce 500 employees @ $75k/YR, which will introduce $37.5 million in new money floating around Brownsville every year - all of these projects will make a real difference. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/17/2017 04:41 PM

For tourists that want to watch the launch, unless they own property in Boca Chica Village, the best place to view the launch will be from South Padre Island, but that's a big resort area where 5 million visitors spend close to $300 million for hotels and tourist attractions (https://southpadretexas.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/spi-economy-is-all-about-tourism/), so I'm not sure the additional visitors brought in by SpaceX will make a big impact.

To make real difference, Brownsville would require several other companies to set up manufacturing sites in the area.


If you really want a view to remember and don't mind working for it a little, cross the border, drive to Playa Bagdad and up the beach to the river. You'll be about 2 1/2 miles from the pad, almost as close as the control center. There's at least a dozen cars there every time I walk down to the river, so I know it's doable. There will probably be businesses in the Playa giving boat rides to the border too, since you can get a lot closer from the Mexican side than you can from South Padre.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: dorkmo on 06/17/2017 05:34 PM
if you assume they ordered the crane before the 40 mishap, and it arrived when originally agreed apon, we might get a rough idea how much boca was delayed by 40 once they begin to install the crane. hows that for a theory?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: simonx on 06/17/2017 05:42 PM
This is how I see it - I'm almost 100% positive since day one of the announcement that BCB was selected, residential and commercial developers across the Rio Grande Valley without a doubt have been using SpaceX as a selling point during their initial, and subsequent meetings with investors - whether it's with this development or any other development, and if any of those investors were swayed somehow because of the potential that SpaceX could mean for Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley in the long-term.........it's a no-brainer. If you don't think SpaceX is being brought up every time these meetings are taking place.......whether you agree with it or not, SpaceX is affecting multi-million dollar residential and commercial real-estate decisions across the region.  I was born and raised in Brownsville, lived there for 28 years and visit the family at least 5-6 times a year, and plan on cashing out my 401k, moving back home and opening a restaurant/bar in Brownsville if all of these projects go through. Let me clarify a little when I stated that "I still think people are underestimating what is about to happen in Brownsville because of SpaceX"....I envision the culture, the attitude, and the pride of the residents of Brownsville to change dramatically - in a positive way - in a way that no other company investing in Brownsville could have possibly made them feel.

Developers across the region agree the potential SpaceX could have:

http://riograndeguardian.com/real-estate-developers-excited-about-spacex-building-rockets-in-rgv/
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: mme on 06/17/2017 06:30 PM
http://themchalereport.blogspot.com/2017/06/space-x-project-uncovers-archaeological.html

This is hilarious!  I don't know if it's some type of belated April Fools thing, but it's definitely good for a laugh.
...
It looks like it might be part of a work of fiction being published various places and then to be compiled into a book.

G.F. MCHALE-SCULLY PUBLISHES MY TEEMING BRAIN... (http://url=http://themchalereport.blogspot.com/2017/06/gf-mchale-scully-publishes-my-teeming.html)
Quote
...
McHale-Scully explained that his next book--Buried in Brownsville--is a work in progress that will appear on a regular basis in both The McHale Report and Facebook as he struggles towards its completion.

"This is a large project," continued McHale-Scully. "I have most the material, but I'm uncertain about the presentation. There will be fiction, newspaper clippings, historical pieces and a smattering of poems, but I haven't begun to arrange or edit yet. I'm not even sure about my intentions, but I trust my instincts. By publishing on my blog and Facebook, I'm able to move forward. I need to get this done. Then, as /DP-M says, I will be free to flow in a new direction."
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/17/2017 06:40 PM
http://themchalereport.blogspot.com/2017/06/space-x-project-uncovers-archaeological.html

This is hilarious!  I don't know if it's some type of belated April Fools thing, but it's definitely good for a laugh.

SPACE X PROJECT UNCOVERS ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE!!!
Quote
Space X construction crews may have uncovered the greatest archaeological discovery in the history of the United States as they excavate the site near Boca Chica Beach as part of the much anticipated missile launch program.

"It is indubitably the base of a pyramid," said world renown anthropologist Dr. Tony Zavaleta who also possesses a broad knowledge of archeology predicated on his many indigenous studies and frequent stays in Mexico. "And the foundation is quite substantial.

"When we discuss the Toltecs, Mayans and Aztecs, the Toltecs were the first great civilization and they ventured along the Gulf of Mexico further north than the two empires that succeeded them," continues the retired educator and Texas Southmost College trustee. "This will certainly create a quandary for the politicians and authorities. But the unearthing of this monument is certainly breathtaking."

A blogger and not the Brownsville Herald, as usual, broke the story of the find. Brownsville Observer Publisher Jim "Balls" Barton, a photographer as well as a writer, took pictures of the ruins and posted them on his blog. The McHale Report is in debt to Barton for the art at the top of this article.

"Why isn't the dying daily reporting on this remarkable discovery?" asks Tony Gray, State Representative Rene Oliveira's legislative assistant. "Does Elon Musk, the Space X investor, intend to raze the ruins in order to build his launch pad?

You're forgetting Erich von Daniken. Elon is actually restoring an ancient launch pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: groundbound on 06/17/2017 08:14 PM

 You're forgetting Erich von Daniken. Elon is actually restoring an ancient launch pad.

...because everything at Boca Chica remains exactly the way it is for thousands or millions of years. I'm sure you can provide ample evidence that this is true.  :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meekGee on 06/17/2017 09:01 PM
So first, I now know "indubitably".  Already a net gain.
Second, by all means, click on the banner of that blog and read up.
Indubitably nuts, but we knew that already.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/17/2017 09:47 PM
If you really want a view to remember and don't mind working for it a little, cross the border, drive to Playa Bagdad and up the beach to the river. You'll be about 2 1/2 miles from the pad, almost as close as the control center. There's at least a dozen cars there every time I walk down to the river, so I know it's doable. There will probably be businesses in the Playa giving boat rides to the border too, since you can get a lot closer from the Mexican side than you can from South Padre.

Very true!

I can easily see some Mexican entrepreneurs capitalizing on the situation, as shown in the map below.

But again, not a significant change for the Brownsville economy, which was my original point. 

Note: Some of the recent posts I see are calling Brownsville a "poor" city.  I think this is somewhat deceiving.  If real estate prices and taxes are very low, then many other things become less expensive.  For example, if you hire a plumber, it'll cost you half as much.  If you go out to eat, prices will be much less expensive.  Or if you bring your car in for service...  You get the idea.  If most things cost less, you don't need a huge salary to live well.

In other words, the "cost of living" is much lower.

Or to put it another way, if you have to spend over $2000 a month on your rent or mortgage, then that six-figure salary doesn't look so good anymore.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/18/2017 02:00 PM
Study projects big lift from airport expansion
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_5f0fd300-53c7-11e7-b7c6-d3a6415f7d4f.html
Quote
The City of Brownsville has for years proposed a new terminal as necessary to expand the airport’s passenger capacity and accommodate more airlines. The airport is currently served by American Airlines and United Airlines.

The city also plans to lengthen two runways in order to handle larger aircraft, which will entail applying for grants from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: manoweb on 06/19/2017 07:48 AM
In my view of this thread I see 3 pages (how many pages is a factor of how many posts per page, which is configurable

Where? I desperately looked for this setting but I never found it. Ideally I would have ALL posts in a single page if possible
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ClayJar on 06/19/2017 11:34 AM
In my view of this thread I see 3 pages (how many pages is a factor of how many posts per page, which is configurable

Where? I desperately looked for this setting but I never found it. Ideally I would have ALL posts in a single page if possible
You click the "Profile" link near the top of any forum page (at least on a desktop web browser), then mouseover "Modify Profile" and choose "Look and Layout" from the menu that appears, near the bottom are drop downs for "Topics to display per page" and "Messages to display per page".  (Default for each: 20.  Max for each: 50)

Or, to go directly to that page in one click, click here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=profile;area=theme).

(This off-topic public service message brought to you by "The Long Wait for Pad Construction", now showing in a limited exhibition near Brownsville, Texas.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/20/2017 05:08 PM
How This Texas Town Owns The U.S. Naval Ship-Recycling Industry
https://www.fastcompany.com/3002137/how-texas-town-owns-us-naval-ship-recycling-industry
Quote
Brownsville has become the country’s ship-breaking hub thanks to its port and the cheap land around it, its proximity to steel-processing plants further down the food chain, and its work force. Bay Bridge Texas, which relocated earlier this year to Brownsville from Chesapeake, Virginia (https://pilotonline.com/news/local/environment/shipyard-that-handled-ghost-fleet-moves-on/article_c3230fb0-8990-55d4-9d10-e202d1b37e91.html), cited the local labor pool among the factors in its decision. “The rest of U.S. has a scarcity of welders,” says Gilberto Salinas, executive vice president of the Brownsville Economic Development Council. “For some reason, our welders don’t want to leave town.”

All of the steel coming to town in the form of hulking Navy vessels (as well as oil rigs and other ships) has made the port of Brownsville the third largest importer and exporter of steel in the country...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/20/2017 05:18 PM
UTRGV and city sign MOU
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_e3be0312-5569-11e7-b8aa-1f71889a2173.html
Quote
The University of Texas College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation last month signed a memorandum of understanding for development of a $20 million Manufacturing Innovations Hub in a 20,000-square-foot facility at FM 511 and SH 48 near the Port of Brownsville.

The purpose, according to the university, is to provide a “manufacturing ecosystem” that encourages the transformation of ideas into marketable products. GBIC plans to fund the center for five years, by which time, ideally, it will be self-sustaining.

The center will give students from UTRGV, TexasSouthmostCollege and TexasStateTechnicalCollege the opportunity to create and proof designs, develop production tools and build prototypes for commercial projects. Students also will be able to earn three levels of training: a certificate in tool-and-die making, an apprenticeship in tool-and-die making and a masters-level designation in tool-and-die making.
(https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/brownsvilleherald.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/0a/a0a84f20-1938-5ac5-911e-de50d3253f56/57d856f8af10b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C152)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 06/20/2017 05:40 PM
Let's not wander TOO far down the "SpaceX is changing everything economic about Brownsville/ NO IT ISN'T" path, ok?

And Nomadd, stop throwing shoes in the dirtpile...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/20/2017 07:38 PM
Let's not wander TOO far down the "SpaceX is changing everything economic about Brownsville/ NO IT ISN'T" path, ok?

And Nomadd, stop throwing shoes in the dirtpile...

Musk is on record saying BFR / ITS will launch from South Texas.  He's actually said this twice.

He also said BFR / ITS will be likely built near the launch site.

So my interest is sort of the opposite, i.e. how Brownsville's existing infrastructure and labor force will affect SpaceX as they start up BFR / ITS production there.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Oersted on 06/20/2017 07:59 PM
UTRGV and city sign MOU
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_e3be0312-5569-11e7-b8aa-1f71889a2173.html
Quote
The University of Texas College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation last month signed a memorandum of understanding for development of a $20 million Manufacturing Innovations Hub in a 20,000-square-foot facility at FM 511 and SH 48 near the Port of Brownsville.

The purpose, according to the university, is to provide a “manufacturing ecosystem” that encourages the transformation of ideas into marketable products. GBIC plans to fund the center for five years, by which time, ideally, it will be self-sustaining.

The center will give students from UTRGV, TexasSouthmostCollege and TexasStateTechnicalCollege the opportunity to create and proof designs, develop production tools and build prototypes for commercial projects. Students also will be able to earn three levels of training: a certificate in tool-and-die making, an apprenticeship in tool-and-die making and a masters-level designation in tool-and-die making.
(https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/brownsvilleherald.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/0a/a0a84f20-1938-5ac5-911e-de50d3253f56/57d856f8af10b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C152)
How This Texas Town Owns The U.S. Naval Ship-Recycling Industry
https://www.fastcompany.com/3002137/how-texas-town-owns-us-naval-ship-recycling-industry
Quote
All of the steel coming to town in the form of hulking Navy vessels (as well as oil rigs and other ships) has made the port of Brownsville the third largest importer and exporter of steel in the country...

Quite a beautiful thought that US Navy steel may one day find its way into the ITS (even though not much steel will be used in its construction...)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Craig_VG on 06/21/2017 03:47 PM
http://themchalereport.blogspot.com/2017/06/space-x-project-uncovers-archaeological.html

This is hilarious!  I don't know if it's some type of belated April Fools thing, but it's definitely good for a laugh.

SPACE X PROJECT UNCOVERS ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE!!!
Quote
Space X construction crews may have uncovered the greatest archaeological discovery in the history of the United States as they excavate the site near Boca Chica Beach as part of the much anticipated missile launch program.

"It is indubitably the base of a pyramid," said world renown anthropologist Dr. Tony Zavaleta who also possesses a broad knowledge of archeology predicated on his many indigenous studies and frequent stays in Mexico. "And the foundation is quite substantial.

"When we discuss the Toltecs, Mayans and Aztecs, the Toltecs were the first great civilization and they ventured along the Gulf of Mexico further north than the two empires that succeeded them," continues the retired educator and Texas Southmost College trustee. "This will certainly create a quandary for the politicians and authorities. But the unearthing of this monument is certainly breathtaking."

A blogger and not the Brownsville Herald, as usual, broke the story of the find. Brownsville Observer Publisher Jim "Balls" Barton, a photographer as well as a writer, took pictures of the ruins and posted them on his blog. The McHale Report is in debt to Barton for the art at the top of this article.

"Why isn't the dying daily reporting on this remarkable discovery?" asks Tony Gray, State Representative Rene Oliveira's legislative assistant. "Does Elon Musk, the Space X investor, intend to raze the ruins in order to build his launch pad?

They actually took my photo for this article. I only posted it on the SpaceX groups (Facebook, Reddit, here). So either the author is actually following our conversation or just got lucky with a google image search. (Sorry for throwing more stones on this subject)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/21/2017 11:17 PM
They actually took my photo for this article. I only posted it on the SpaceX groups (Facebook, Reddit, here). So either the author is actually following our conversation or just got lucky with a google image search.

Probably the latter.  As a test, Google "SpaceX Boca Chica" and click "images" (https://www.google.com/search?q=spacex+boca+chica&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi5-dC3h9DUAhXLGj4KHY--ApwQ_AUIDSgE&biw=1482&bih=916).  I see your image there, and a few of mine as well.

In any case, the article appears to be tongue-in-cheek humor, so no harm done. Just a good laugh.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 06/21/2017 11:44 PM
Correct, see the post above yours.

And that's probably more or less enough of a mountain out of a molehill, threadwise, no?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: darkenfast on 06/22/2017 03:46 AM
I dunno, it could be a giant pyramid scheme...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Roy_H on 06/24/2017 01:17 AM
Let's not wander TOO far down the "SpaceX is changing everything economic about Brownsville/ NO IT ISN'T" path, ok?

And Nomadd, stop throwing shoes in the dirtpile...

Musk is on record saying BFR / ITS will launch from South Texas.  He's actually said this twice.

He also said BFR / ITS will be likely built near the launch site.

So my interest is sort of the opposite, i.e. how Brownsville's existing infrastructure and labor force will affect SpaceX as they start up BFR / ITS production there.

He said it could be or might be, not it will be.  My bet is on Florida.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JoerTex on 06/24/2017 02:51 AM
The UTRGV Provost is moving to SUNY at Albany.

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/valley/article_f747d4a6-56fb-11e7-a70d-17decaaf8d1c.html (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/valley/article_f747d4a6-56fb-11e7-a70d-17decaaf8d1c.html)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/26/2017 09:57 PM
Why The Proposed California Tax On Rockets Is Good For Texas
https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/06/26/why-the-proposed-california-tax-on-rockets-is-good-for-texas/#7a1401c14e0a
Quote
Commercial spaceflights that launch from California take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Launches from this facility are designed to deliver payloads into polar or sun-synchronous orbits. The SpaceX Brownsville spaceport would not be very well suited for such launches, but they could be moved to the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska to avoid the tax.

The real potential windfall where Texas is concerned is with horizontal takeoff and landing vehicles such as the one being developed by Virgin Galactic. California has a facility to handle such spacecraft at the Mojave Air and Space Port...

Companies like Virgin Galactic can run horizontal takeoff and landing spacecraft from Midland and Ellington just as easily as from Mojave. Texas will be glad to have the extra business that economic stimulus attracts from California.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: joncz on 06/27/2017 10:17 AM
Why The Proposed California Tax On Rockets Is Good For Texas
https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/06/26/why-the-proposed-california-tax-on-rockets-is-good-for-texas/#7a1401c14e0a

Did Forbes forget about https://spaceportamerica.com/our-service/ (https://spaceportamerica.com/our-service/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/27/2017 12:46 PM
Why The Proposed California Tax On Rockets Is Good For Texas
https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/06/26/why-the-proposed-california-tax-on-rockets-is-good-for-texas/#7a1401c14e0a

Did Forbes forget about https://spaceportamerica.com/our-service/ (https://spaceportamerica.com/our-service/)

From the article (https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/06/26/why-the-proposed-california-tax-on-rockets-is-good-for-texas/#7a1401c14e0a):
Quote
Virgin Galactic ... intends to operate its tourist flights out of a spaceport in New Mexico but is developing a business that would use SpaceShipTwo to launch small satellites out of Mojave. If California slaps a tax on such spaceflights, the company may be tempted to go to Texas instead.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 06/27/2017 01:10 PM
Why The Proposed California Tax On Rockets Is Good For Texas
https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/06/26/why-the-proposed-california-tax-on-rockets-is-good-for-texas/#7a1401c14e0a

SpaceX is actually on the record as supporting the new regulation:
Quote from: http://spacenews.com/california-eyes-launch-income-regulation-not-a-new-tax/
“The proposed regulation provides certainty for us, as well as other taxpayers in the industry, for our California franchise tax filings going forward,” Bret Johnsen, SpaceX chief financial officer, said in an April 19 letter to California’s Office of Administrative Law, which reviews proposed regulations. “The clarity provided by the regulation alleviates the need for taxpayers to seek guidance on a case-by-case basis from the FTB or request relief from the standard apportionment rules in individual petitions.”
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meberbs on 06/27/2017 01:20 PM
Why The Proposed California Tax On Rockets Is Good For Texas
https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/06/26/why-the-proposed-california-tax-on-rockets-is-good-for-texas/#7a1401c14e0a

Not sure how this is relevant to this thread, since SpaceX can't move its Vandenburg launches to Boca Chica.

Anyway, companies like SpaceX would have to pay taxes in CA without this law, but the law clarifies how they would be taxed. I haven't heard of any complaints about this law from any of the affected companies. The opposite in fact (source) (https://qz.com/977207/californias-plan-to-tax-rockets-by-the-mile-is-exactly-what-spacex-ula-and-virgin-galactic-want/), so while the actual rate calculation is a bit convoluted it might even be a reduction from however it was calculated before:

Quote
Yet all three companies have backed the new tax rule in meetings with the California government, according to government records and sources familiar with the matter, because the change would clarify their tax status.

In a letter to the California Franchise Tax Board obtained by Quartz, SpaceX CFO Bret Johnsen writes that “without the proposed regulation the standard apportionment rules are unclear as applied to space transportation companies. The proposed regulation provides certainty for us, as well as other taxpayers in the industry, for our California franchise tax filings going forward.”
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/27/2017 07:10 PM
It requires less accountants and lawyers even though the taxes may be more. The net result is less costs.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cppetrie on 06/27/2017 07:39 PM
It requires less accountants and lawyers even though the taxes may be more. The net result is less costs.
Sounds that way. And known larger amount is easier to plan for and manage than unknown potentially smaller amount, especially if the difference between them is not especially large.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 06/27/2017 07:42 PM
California tax is probably not on topic unless it's via quotes from Texas sources that have bearing (one or two of those were given, but the flat out speculation maybe is better suited elsewhere, not sure)....
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/28/2017 12:41 AM
 Some work going on. The STARGATE building has water and septic tanks and is getting a second floor inside, and the lavish party fence is complete. (Too many cameras popping up around here)
 I went with cedar pickets, so the price of a beer just went up 20%.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: darkenfast on 06/28/2017 03:50 AM
Does the shed hold the little Genie Lift (complete with umbrella, lawn chair, high-powered binocular mounts and drinks holder), for a great view of the pad on launch days?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/28/2017 04:28 AM
Does the shed hold the little Genie Lift (complete with umbrella, lawn chair, high-powered binocular mounts and drinks holder), for a great view of the pad on launch days?
Maybe.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/28/2017 11:39 AM
Island amphitheater now has a face
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_18b69f06-5bab-11e7-84a3-dbdb649b4f86.html
Quote
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Now we know what the amphitheater at Isla Blanca Park will look like.

On Tuesday, Cameron County commissioners unanimously approved the site plan for the project. The venue is projected to hold about 4,000 guests...

The amphitheater will be located at Isla Blanca Park, overlooking the dolphin cove area and the ship channel.

“It’s going to be very nice,” said Joe Vega, Cameron County Parks director. “It’s also going to be a great location to view SpaceX launches, as well.”

He said there will be performing arts and concerts, and people could even have weddings there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 06/28/2017 04:22 PM
Island amphitheater now has a face
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_18b69f06-5bab-11e7-84a3-dbdb649b4f86.html
Quote
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Now we know what the amphitheater at Isla Blanca Park will look like.

On Tuesday, Cameron County commissioners unanimously approved the site plan for the project. The venue is projected to hold about 4,000 guests...

The amphitheater will be located at Isla Blanca Park, overlooking the dolphin cove area and the ship channel.

“It’s going to be very nice,” said Joe Vega, Cameron County Parks director. “It’s also going to be a great location to view SpaceX launches, as well.”

He said there will be performing arts and concerts, and people could even have weddings there.

I only got 1 question is the Amphitheater facing towards the Gulf of Mexico or to Boca Chica?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: dorkmo on 06/28/2017 05:09 PM
looks like seating is in 180 degree semicircle facing east south east. Any angle you could want
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: RonM on 06/28/2017 05:10 PM
Island amphitheater now has a face
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_18b69f06-5bab-11e7-84a3-dbdb649b4f86.html
Quote
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Now we know what the amphitheater at Isla Blanca Park will look like.

On Tuesday, Cameron County commissioners unanimously approved the site plan for the project. The venue is projected to hold about 4,000 guests...

The amphitheater will be located at Isla Blanca Park, overlooking the dolphin cove area and the ship channel.

“It’s going to be very nice,” said Joe Vega, Cameron County Parks director. “It’s also going to be a great location to view SpaceX launches, as well.”

He said there will be performing arts and concerts, and people could even have weddings there.

I only got 1 question is the Amphitheater facing towards the Gulf of Mexico or to Boca Chica?

It's on the Gulf side, but the park is at the southern most end of South Padre Island. Should be a great place to watch rocket launches. Go to Google Maps and search for Isla Blanca Park.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: DOCinCT on 06/28/2017 05:23 PM
Island amphitheater now has a face
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_18b69f06-5bab-11e7-84a3-dbdb649b4f86.html
Quote
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Now we know what the amphitheater at Isla Blanca Park will look like.

On Tuesday, Cameron County commissioners unanimously approved the site plan for the project. The venue is projected to hold about 4,000 guests...

The amphitheater will be located at Isla Blanca Park, overlooking the dolphin cove area and the ship channel.

“It’s going to be very nice,” said Joe Vega, Cameron County Parks director. “It’s also going to be a great location to view SpaceX launches, as well.”

He said there will be performing arts and concerts, and people could even have weddings there.

I only got 1 question is the Amphitheater facing towards the Gulf of Mexico or to Boca Chica?

It's on the Gulf side, but the park is at the southern most end of South Padre Island. Should be a great place to watch rocket launches. Go to Google Maps and search for Isla Blanca Park.
Does this help?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/28/2017 05:47 PM
Island amphitheater now has a face
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_18b69f06-5bab-11e7-84a3-dbdb649b4f86.html (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_18b69f06-5bab-11e7-84a3-dbdb649b4f86.html)
Quote
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Now we know what the amphitheater at Isla Blanca Park will look like.

On Tuesday, Cameron County commissioners unanimously approved the site plan for the project. The venue is projected to hold about 4,000 guests...

The amphitheater will be located at Isla Blanca Park, overlooking the dolphin cove area and the ship channel.

“It’s going to be very nice,” said Joe Vega, Cameron County Parks director. “It’s also going to be a great location to view SpaceX launches, as well.”

He said there will be performing arts and concerts, and people could even have weddings there.

I only got 1 question is the Amphitheater facing towards the Gulf of Mexico or to Boca Chica?

I cropped the HALFF drawing, rotated it so North was pointing vertical and overlaid it on google earth at approximately the correct location in Isla Blanca Park (the shoreline of the drawing matched the alignment of that on the map).

The red line links directly to the SpaceX pad location, and measures approx 4.6 miles.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: joncz on 06/28/2017 07:11 PM
Does the shed hold the little Genie Lift (complete with umbrella, lawn chair, high-powered binocular mounts and drinks holder), for a great view of the pad on launch days?
Maybe.

I expect the roof opens up evil overlord-style.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/28/2017 08:20 PM
Does the shed hold the little Genie Lift (complete with umbrella, lawn chair, high-powered binocular mounts and drinks holder), for a great view of the pad on launch days?
Maybe.

I expect the roof opens up evil overlord-style.

I don't do that anymore. (According to my lawyer)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: acsawdey on 06/28/2017 08:31 PM
I cropped the HALFF drawing, rotated it so North was pointing vertical and overlaid it on google earth at approximately the correct location in Isla Blanca Park (the shoreline of the drawing matched the alignment of that on the map).

The red line links directly to the SpaceX pad location, and measures approx 4.6 miles.

Perhaps by design, the light from sunrise on the winter solstice is pretty much perpendicular to the shoreline the amphitheater sits on.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Joris on 06/28/2017 08:58 PM
Would it be reasonable to assume that launches would happen from Texas and have their first stages land at Cape Canaveral?

Would launching ITS from Texas be likely? How much more efficient is this than doing RTLS for the first stage?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/28/2017 09:03 PM
1. Would it be reasonable to assume that launches would happen from Texas and have their first stages land at Cape Canaveral?

2. Would launching ITS from Texas be likely? How much more efficient is this than doing RTLS for the first stage?

1. No, it's much too far.

2. It's possible ITS / BFR would launch from Texas, but that's several years down the road.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ChrisC on 06/29/2017 03:42 AM
Discussed many times earlier in this thread.  Go back and read, it's fun.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/29/2017 11:23 AM
Someone taking baseline soil samples for SpaceX around Boca Chica Beach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl-1Z9SXmSI
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/30/2017 02:37 AM
I cropped the HALFF drawing, rotated it so North was pointing vertical and overlaid it on google earth at approximately the correct location in Isla Blanca Park (the shoreline of the drawing matched the alignment of that on the map).

The red line links directly to the SpaceX pad location, and measures approx 4.6 miles.

Looks like they're planning to update the surrounding area as well:
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_b103afee-5c76-11e7-bf91-b372fe972a33.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Cowboy Dan on 06/30/2017 03:23 AM
I cropped the HALFF drawing, rotated it so North was pointing vertical and overlaid it on google earth at approximately the correct location in Isla Blanca Park (the shoreline of the drawing matched the alignment of that on the map).

The red line links directly to the SpaceX pad location, and measures approx 4.6 miles.

Looks like they're planning to update the surrounding area as well:
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_b103afee-5c76-11e7-bf91-b372fe972a33.html

Pretty nifty plans all over South Padre Island, really. $30 million bucks worth by Cameron County P&R. http://cameroncountyparks.com/media/Coastal_Parks_Presentation_12-1-15_Final.pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 06/30/2017 03:51 AM
 I hope they don't close the jetty because some lawyer is afraid of liability issues. That will be the best view.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Rocket Surgeon on 06/30/2017 06:22 AM
What's the current status at Boca Chica?

Wikipedia tells me construction has been slowed due to soil issues?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/30/2017 11:51 AM
What's the current status at Boca Chica?
No work on the launch pad.  No work on any SpaceX buildings.  They recently started bringing in parts for a very large crane.  The Stargate tracking center (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STARGATE) building is well underway, but that's being built by the University of Texas at Brownsville, with help from the Federal government.  There's also a radio dish installed, but that's primarily for the NASA commercial crew contract, specifically to track Dragon2 in orbit from locations other than the cape.

Wikipedia tells me construction has been slowed due to soil issues?
Yes, back in 2015 they discovered that the ground around the launch site was a lot softer than predicted, so they installed wick drains and then added a soil surcharge layer (i.e. huge mound of dirt) to wick away the underground water.  It normally takes months for this wicking process to complete, so that's probably what they're waiting for.

There's also the issue of LC40 delaying the availability of SpaceX launch pad construction people, but I don't see how that would prevent SpaceX from starting on some of the buildings.  The EIS (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/media/FEIS_SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Site_Vol_I.pdf) specifies 8 buildings, including:

Launch Pad Area:
  • Integration and Processing Hangar
  • Workshop and office building
  • Warehouse for parts storage

Control Center Area:
  • Two launch control center buildings
  • Two payload processing facilities
  • Launch vehicle processing/refurbishing hangar

Note that the ground in the control center area is much more solid, so I can't see anything stopping SpaceX from starting work on these 5 buildings.  In a news article (http://www.valleymorningstar.com/premium/article_a3cdf116-1dec-11e4-b4f5-001a4bcf6878.html), SpaceX also said they plan to install 6.5 acres of solar panels in the control center area.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JBF on 06/30/2017 02:42 PM
They could also be doing a redesign, due to lessons learned at 39A.   
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: IanThePineapple on 06/30/2017 02:57 PM
Will payload encapsulation in the fairing occur in the payload processing facilities?

Interesting to note that there will be TWO, probably because this will be SpaceX's 'machine gun' site, launching very often, so they'll need lots of room to encapsulate payloads.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 06/30/2017 06:12 PM
Interesting to note that there will be TWO, probably because this will be SpaceX's 'machine gun' site, launching very often, so they'll need lots of room to encapsulate payloads.

For throughput, SpaceX could have specified 1 building that's large enough to process 2 satellites.  But if you have two different commercial satellite companies that are competitors, having them share the same building is a bad idea.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Cowboy Dan on 07/01/2017 12:12 PM
What's the current status at Boca Chica?
No work on the launch pad.  No work on any SpaceX buildings.  They recently started bringing in parts for a very large crane.  The Stargate tracking center (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STARGATE) building is well underway, but that's being built by the University of Texas at Brownsville, with help from the Federal government. 

To clarify:
     UT-RGV name
     CARA's STARGATE funding

Appears they've been tinkering with their website recently. This project is really gettin' legs.:

http://www.utrgv.edu/stargate/index.htm
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JoerTex on 07/01/2017 01:25 PM
Texas now restricts Drone use around industrial facilities

https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/30/school-board-association-municipal-league-sought-stop-drone-bill/ (https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/30/school-board-association-municipal-league-sought-stop-drone-bill/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 07/01/2017 01:39 PM
To clarify:
     UT-RGV name
     CARA's STARGATE funding

Appears they've been tinkering with their website recently. This project is really gettin' legs.:

http://www.utrgv.edu/stargate/index.htm

Your second image looks like it's from Wikipedia.  I actually wrote that part of the Stargate Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STARGATE).

Yes, the University of Texas Brownsville campus recently combined with 2 other campuses in nearby cities to form UTRGV, but it's the Brownsville campus that's driving Stargate.  In fact, it seems the Brownsville students are more responsible for this than the teachers:
http://www.expressnews.com/business/local/article/SpaceX-leads-space-exploration-renaissance-and-10872954.php
Quote
Jenet said that students from his program are the ones who led the charge to engage SpaceX and persuade them to partner with local educational institutions.

“We basically have these programs that were developed, we have these students that were at this level and then SpaceX comes nosing around. Our students immediately take advantage of this and they start organizing themselves to talk to SpaceX and organizing themselves to talk at the forums,” he said.

Also, I forgot to mention, they recently laid 24 strands of fiber optic cable between the UT Brownsville campus and Boca Chica, including drops for Stargate, the control center area, and the launch site.  More info on that here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35425.msg1354648#msg1354648).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 07/01/2017 03:22 PM
 The fiber conduits wound up being together on the north side of the road until a hundred yards past the control center, then they split, one going on each side of the road to the pad site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cscott on 07/02/2017 03:01 AM
Hm. Backhoe redundancy on the local network between control center and pad, but not on the connection to the internet at large?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 07/02/2017 05:28 AM
 I never did see them digging trenches on the highway. I think they ran the conduits mostly through an old line. They just kept popping up out of the dirt every mile or so. Running one all the way on the south side would have been a whole different project.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 07/02/2017 09:55 AM
I never did see them digging trenches on the highway. I think they ran the conduits mostly through an old line. They just kept popping up out of the dirt every mile or so. Running one all the way on the south side would have been a whole different project.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35425.msg1354814#msg1354814
Quote
they'll most likely be running a mole rather than digging an open trench. much cheaper, as long as you're not digging through green fields.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 07/08/2017 11:33 AM
SpaceX to receive county grant
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_f02989e6-637e-11e7-9744-0f6e6d7da6c7.html
Quote
SpaceX will receive a $2.6 million grant from the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corporation after the board received its first disbursement from the Office of the Governor last week.

The funds come from the State Spaceport Trust Fund Account and are the first installment of a $13 million allocation, according to a CameronCounty press release...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 07/11/2017 12:30 AM
SpaceX to receive county grant
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_f02989e6-637e-11e7-9744-0f6e6d7da6c7.html
Quote
SpaceX will receive a $2.6 million grant from the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corporation after the board received its first disbursement from the Office of the Governor last week.

The funds come from the State Spaceport Trust Fund Account and are the first installment of a $13 million allocation, according to a CameronCounty press release...

And what does this mean for the Boca Chica Project now? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: philw1776 on 07/11/2017 09:31 PM
Nothing.  Funding was known and in the pipeline.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 07/13/2017 08:39 PM
Cameron Co. Judge: Residents to Benefit from Space X Project

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ySZn95Mx6U
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 07/19/2017 10:43 AM
SpaceX in South Texas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kRmwkHKB9o
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 07/19/2017 07:02 PM
How's the Contruction on HWY 4?
Does it have to be done in August in order for SpaceX to get through easily.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 07/20/2017 03:46 AM
How's the Contruction on HWY 4?
Does it have to be done in August in order for SpaceX to get through easily.
About 1 mile of westbound and 5 miles of eastbound shoulder left to reconstruct. Nobody seems to know if they'll do the final paving before or after all the construction traffic stops.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 07/20/2017 04:43 AM
How's the Contruction on HWY 4?
Does it have to be done in August in order for SpaceX to get through easily.
About 1 mile of westbound and 5 miles of eastbound shoulder left to reconstruct. Nobody seems to know if they'll do the final paving before or after all the construction traffic stops.

Thanks so are they just Reconstructing 1 shoulder lane or Both sides? They really worked pretty fast on the road.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 07/20/2017 05:36 AM


Thanks so are they just Reconstructing 1 shoulder lane or Both sides? They really worked pretty fast on the road.
Both sides. 30 miles of 8 foot wide or so strips. They dig out about a foot of sand and clay and fill it with aggregate with a metal mesh layer beneath and pavement on the top 3 inches. They're also digging up some weak sections in the center up to three feet down. Some narrow spots are being made a little wider for a consistent 34 feet. Maybe 14 foot lanes and two foot shoulders and median with rumble strips. If they come down 511, it seems like they'd need to reconstruct that between Ruben Torres and Boca Chica road.
 They say it's for the rockets, but the wheel/axle weight is just as great on the construction vehicles and there will be thousands of them. (How much concrete in a "concrete mountain"?) They're what tore the road up in the first place.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 07/22/2017 06:48 AM


Thanks so are they just Reconstructing 1 shoulder lane or Both sides? They really worked pretty fast on the road.
Both sides. 30 miles of 8 foot wide or so strips. They dig out about a foot of sand and clay and fill it with aggregate with a metal mesh layer beneath and pavement on the top 3 inches. They're also digging up some weak sections in the center up to three feet down. Some narrow spots are being made a little wider for a consistent 34 feet. Maybe 14 foot lanes and two foot shoulders and median with rumble strips. If they come down 511, it seems like they'd need to reconstruct that between Ruben Torres and Boca Chica road.
 They say it's for the rockets, but the wheel/axle weight is just as great on the construction vehicles and there will be thousands of them. (How much concrete in a "concrete mountain"?) They're what tore the road up in the first place.

Nice thanks hopeing to see new things soon like the second tracking dish coming later this year and some more activity picking up behind that. December 2018 seems like a promising date to launch the rockets. Hopefully.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 07/22/2017 01:43 PM
...hoping to see new things soon like the second tracking dish coming later this year and some more activity picking up behind that. December 2018 seems like a promising date to launch the rockets. Hopefully.

Note: All news sources indicate that the dishes are being installed to track Dragon 2 in orbit.  As part of NASA's commercial crew contract, SpaceX is required to have orbital tracking capability at sites other than the cape.

Since Dragon 2 will launch from the cape, the installation of the tracking dishes doesn't seem to be related to the timetable for launches at Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Cowboy Dan on 07/22/2017 02:45 PM
Fresh drone footage by SPI Life of a portion of South Padre's Isla Blanca Park, on the eve of $30 million park renovations in anticipation of SpaceX activities at Boca Chica.

Still photo below is a screen grab of approximate area where amphitheater is expected to be built.

July 2017 Isla Blanca Park drone footage. ~~>  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyOcVCe8orE

January 2017 SPI Life drone footage of SpaceX Boca Chica site. ~~> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz5T2nUh5Po


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 07/23/2017 12:17 AM
Fresh drone footage by SPI Life of a portion of South Padre's Isla Blanca Park, on the eve of $30 million park renovations in anticipation of SpaceX activities at Boca Chica.

Still photo below is a screen grab of approximate area where amphitheater is expected to be built.
...

Yea I see the videos all the time when people first learned Isla Blanca was gonna get renovated and also because of SpaceX arrival they weren't to happy. Hearing they can't be there next year in there spots because of the Contruction, so that's why some improvements have been taken off the board so they won't take long to finish to improvements in 2018 alone. Pretty good idea.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 07/23/2017 10:48 PM
University article on Stargate construction:
http://www.utrgv.edu/umc/news/building-our-future/stargate/index.htm

The article links a rather substantial photo archive (https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00004Wy4yGzDBMw/G0000e7FR9ioIZQw/STARGATE-Boca-Chica).  I've included 3 photos from the archive below.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JBF on 07/24/2017 02:00 AM
The renders clearly show an elevator shaft.  I wonder why it hasn't been started.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 07/24/2017 02:45 AM
I can see them completeing STARGATE this year but where's the elevator. The place where's it's going to be is outside the entrance.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 07/24/2017 02:50 AM
The renders clearly show an elevator shaft.  I wonder why it hasn't been started.

Nomadd got a shot of the foundation (first pic).  Now it's just rebar and orange plastic around the hole (second pic).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Kansan52 on 07/24/2017 08:32 PM
Reminds me of hydraulic elevator construction:

http://www.schumacherelevator.com/elevators/hydraulic-elevators/in-ground-hydraulic-elevators.aspx
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 07/24/2017 10:29 PM
Reminds me of hydraulic elevator construction:

http://www.schumacherelevator.com/elevators/hydraulic-elevators/in-ground-hydraulic-elevators.aspx
I was wild guessing a dumbwaiter for the 2nd floor. The wall structure doesn't have any places tall enough for a person size opening there. I have somebody asking someone in authority, so maybe we'll know shortly.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 07/29/2017 07:58 PM
I'm guessing some of us heard Elon musk announced the FH launch will be in November and will need SLC-40 to be active and deactivate LC-39A for motificications for 60 days to get ready for the FH launch. By any chance we see some SpaceX Contruction Crew from LC-40 that will Arrive at Boca Chica once that happens, of course also SpaceX does need
HWY 4 to be finished in order to get through yes?
CC:Judge Eddie Trevino did say Contruction will pick up in the coming months. If I'm right.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 07/30/2017 05:53 PM
 Interior work at STARGATE continues, as well as the tracking station fence beautification project.
 And, proof that really long loads can make it down FM511.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 07/30/2017 06:24 PM
Wind turbine blade?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 07/30/2017 06:47 PM
Wind turbine blade?
That, or a propeller blade for Paul Allen's next airplane project. They come out of the port and head up the highway to various sites. Seeing those monsters up close is a lot different than off in the distance.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/30/2017 06:54 PM
Wind turbine blade?
Yep. They come out of the port and head up the highway to various sites. Seeing those monsters up close is a lot different than off in the distance.
LM Wind Power ships via all methods of transportation out of Little Rock, AR. High chance it came from there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ChrisC on 08/01/2017 02:34 AM
proof that really long loads can make it down FM511.
They come out of the port and head up the highway to various sites. Seeing those monsters up close is a lot different than off in the distance.

I'm going to guess that this picture was taken here, facing northbound, with the load coming in from the east?

https://www.google.com/maps/@25.9476014,-97.4072855,18.25z
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/01/2017 03:00 AM
 Yep. Texas has over 20GW of wind power capacity now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/05/2017 10:49 PM
 Another 4 hours of work crammed into 6 days. Industrial looking stairs and sidewalk forms at STARGATE and two guys from a welding and fabrication company cutting into the foundation next to the BFC.

                                                               *Later that day*
 They sliced out 2 x 3 foot rectangles all around the perimeter. Maybe they're going to pour some footings and erect a structure over the crane stuff. If they do, getting the gear out would be interesting.
 I'm pretty sure they'll start serious work out here in September or October since I'm planning another trip then. The theme this year is finding the worst home brewed Țuică in Transylvania.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/06/2017 02:13 AM
Another 4 hours of worked crammed into 6 days. Industrial looking stairs and sidewalk forms at STARGATE and two guys from a welding and fabrication company cutting into the foundation next to the BFC.

 *Later that day* They sliced out 2 x 3 foot rectangles all around the perimeter. Maybe they're going to pour some footings and erect a structure over the crane stuff. If they do, getting the gear out would be interesting. I'm pretty sure they'll start serious work out here in September or October since I'm planning another trip then. The theme this year is finding the worst home brewed Țuică in Transylvania.

Pretty good, still don't know what the crane will be used for still. some parts of the crane they brought in are covered hopefully we get to see the whole thing soon.  Increasing activity later this year hopefully.  I'm thinking that might be a SpaceX crane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/06/2017 05:08 AM
  In case anyone wonders why high tech employees would want to move to Brownsville, this is what you get for $230,000 here.
 https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/89511404_zpid/200000-250000_price/737-921_mp/pricea_sort/26.179781,-97.291832,25.853353,-97.760811_rect/10_zm/3_p/

 And what you get in Hawthorne for $700,000.
 https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Hawthorne-CA/20399804_zpid/42150_rid/globalrelevanceex_sort/33.932322,-118.320179,33.894642,-118.378802_rect/13_zm/

 You'll also save about $6,000 a year on income tax if you make 100 grand.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: RotoSequence on 08/06/2017 05:15 AM
In case anyone wonders why high tech employees would want to move to Brownsville, this is what you get for $230,000 here.
 And what you get in Hawthorne for $700,000

That first house would probably make a great showcase for McMansion Hell.  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: docmordrid on 08/06/2017 05:26 AM
Similar to middle class Detroit suburbs/exurbs, where you can get a 2,200 sqft 5 bed/2.5-3.5 bath house on .4 acre & good schools for  $250-350k.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Coastal Ron on 08/06/2017 05:56 AM
In case anyone wonders why high tech employees would want to move to Brownsville, this is what you get for $230,000 here.

And what you get in Hawthorne for $700,000.

You'll also save about $6,000 a year on income tax if you make 100 grand.

Costs more to furnish a much larger house than that though...  ;)

I would imagine SpaceX did a study to ensure that they would be able to not only find employees happy to move from L.A. to Brownsville, but also to find new employees willing to move to Brownsville from other parts of the country.

And I'm sure Brownsville is looking forward to the types of employees that SpaceX plans to bring to the area, so would not be surprised if housing prices go up a little as they ramp up operations there - which is not necessarily bad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Zed_Noir on 08/06/2017 07:23 AM
In case anyone wonders why high tech employees would want to move to Brownsville, this is what you get for $230,000 here.

And what you get in Hawthorne for $700,000.

You'll also save about $6,000 a year on income tax if you make 100 grand.

Costs more to furnish a much larger house than that though...  ;)

I would imagine SpaceX did a study to ensure that they would be able to not only find employees happy to move from L.A. to Brownsville, but also to find new employees willing to move to Brownsville from other parts of the country.

And I'm sure Brownsville is looking forward to the types of employees that SpaceX plans to bring to the area, so would not be surprised if housing prices go up a little as they ramp up operations there - which is not necessarily bad.

Maybe our SX CTO will add on the developer's hat as well and create some suitable hovels housing for his minions employees. After all how hard can it be after doing tube plumbing & DIY go-carts :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Okie_Steve on 08/06/2017 03:49 PM
He could name it something cute like "Dogleg Park". I'm sure noone would mind a little occasional noise ...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/06/2017 04:27 PM
He could name it something cute like "Dogleg Park". I'm sure noone would mind a little occasional noise ...
I was actually thinking of sleeping late one launch day just to see what it would be like as an alarm clock. I mean, how loud could it be from a mile and a half away?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Comga on 08/06/2017 05:29 PM
He could name it something cute like "Dogleg Park". I'm sure noone would mind a little occasional noise ...
I was actually thinking of sleeping late one launch day just to see what it would be like as an alarm clock. I mean, how loud could it be from a mile and a half away?
I believe you would put a calibrated sound level monitor in your bedroom and recreate the noise level later.
I do not believe you would sleep through the lead-up to a SpaceX Brownsville launch. At least not before the 101st one. 😉
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: darkenfast on 08/07/2017 03:32 AM
He could name it something cute like "Dogleg Park". I'm sure noone would mind a little occasional noise ...
I was actually thinking of sleeping late one launch day just to see what it would be like as an alarm clock. I mean, how loud could it be from a mile and a half away?
More likely, the non-sound of a scrub will wake you up!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/07/2017 11:26 PM
Latest map attached. No changes from last time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/07/2017 11:58 PM
 The Dogleg property count has been stuck at 154 for months now and I know they've bought more in that time. The county isn't getting any better with their database updating.

 They're jackhammering out the rectangles they cut in the foundation the crane is on.

 It looks like by the end of the week, the highway reconstruction will be done but for the last mile from the Border Patrol checkpoint to the edge of town, except for the final paving.

 The tree stump that time forgot finally surrendered today after three days digging, chopping and cussing. They could build a space elevator out of those roots.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Oersted on 08/08/2017 12:14 AM
Țuică

Had to look that up. I see it is a kind of Romanian slivovitz... Sounds nasty!

Cheers to a good trip for you.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/08/2017 12:40 AM
The Dogleg property count has been stuck at 154 for months now and I know they've bought more in that time. The county isn't getting any better with their database updating.

 They're jackhammering out the rectangles they cut in the foundation the crane is on.

 It looks like by the end of the week, the highway reconstruction will be done but for the last mile from the Border Patrol checkpoint to the edge of town, except for the final paving.

 The tree stump that time forgot finally surrendered today after three days digging, chopping and cussing. They could build a space elevator out of those roots.

What are they trying to do at that Crane? Wondering what there doing?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Roy_H on 08/08/2017 01:15 AM
They're jackhammering out the rectangles they cut in the foundation the crane is on.

Could show us on a map where this crane foundation is?
Sounds like a make work project, pour a cement pad then remove half of it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/08/2017 02:22 AM
They're jackhammering out the rectangles they cut in the foundation the crane is on.

Could show us on a map where this crane foundation is?
Sounds like a make work project, pour a cement pad then remove half of it.
  That foundation was poured before Elon Musk was born. It's on the map DaveG just posted. The big lot north of Eichorn, 172928. They're not removing half of it. They're making holes around the perimeter, probably for footings/pilings. They might be putting a warehouse up apart from main construction.
 Or a blast fence for a landing pad. Or a Dairy Queen. I don't know. My predictions aren't that great lately. But I predict they'll get better.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Okie_Steve on 08/08/2017 03:22 AM
The Dogleg property count has been stuck at 154 for months now and I know they've bought more in that time. The county isn't getting any better with their database updating.
It may not be the county, I could understand why SpaceX might want to delay filing deeds until legally required so sellers can't do what we're trying to do to see "what's left"
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/09/2017 04:33 PM
 The person in charge of the STARGATE building told me that shaft will be an elevator, even though the wall wasn't built with a door opening. I guess they'll re-frame the wall there or only let four foot tall people use it.
 It was probably easier to make changes to the existing building than to change the design before construction.
 It doesn't have to make sense.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: IanThePineapple on 08/09/2017 04:51 PM
Wow, STARGATE is really progressing! When is it expected to be operational?

Also, is there ANY work going on at the launch site, even bringing in machinery?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/09/2017 09:10 PM
Wow, STARGATE is really progressing! When is it expected to be operational?

Also, is there ANY work going on at the launch site, even bringing in machinery?

Uhh STARGATE is anticipated to be completed later this year it's being built pretty fast, and the launch site hopefully activity picks once the road Contruction is done for SpaceX the only machinery there is the Crane parts and probably will pick up even more when LC-40 is active and Falcon Heavy launches in November. That's my thoughts.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/10/2017 11:53 PM
 There are 18 holes dug around the crane foundation on LBJ/Eichorn. The ones on the NW end have a wide gap in the middle, like for an overhead door. It looks like a 130 x 45 feet building going up. They were originally going to use that parcel for part of the control center, but Bill didn't sell and they moved everything west. Then he did sell later on, so it looks plans are changing again.

 I ran into a lost looking electrician today about ten miles out who asked me if I knew where the NASA rocket site was. Turns out he needed to go to the portable building they put here months back to start getting utilities going. There were also people hanging around the tracking dish.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/11/2017 03:44 AM
There are 18 holes dug around the crane foundation on LBJ/Eichorn. The ones on the NW end have a wide space in the middle, like for an overhead door, it looks like a 130 x 45 feet building going up. They were originally going to use that parcel for part of the control center, but Bill didn't sell and they moved everything west. Then he did sell later on, so it looks plans are changing again.

 I ran into a lost looking electrician today about ten miles out who asked me if I knew where the NASA rocket site was. Turns out he needed to go to the portable building they put here months back to start getting utilities going. There were also people hanging around the tracking dish.

Lol NASA rocket site, but About the electrician is there even anybody there at the portable. It's been empty
  for a while now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/11/2017 07:15 AM
 Somebody sent me a question, and I figured I might as well answer it here. Boca Chica village has 34 residential properties. 5 are junkers with no electrical service, which is almost impossible to get once you've let it lapse. One is an old motel on LBJ that has been divided into five apartments which I've never seen anybody use. There are only two houses with a total of four permanent residents, and around eight to ten more that have seasonal inhabitants. 
 Most of the rest are rarely visited by absentee owners. SpaceX, under the Dogleg subsidiary officially own five houses, but probably own at least two more. Whether that's from the county being lazy in updating the database or SpaceX not wanting the full extent of their holding being public is up for debate.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/11/2017 11:16 AM
There are 18 holes dug around the crane foundation on LBJ/Eichorn. The ones on the NW end have a wide space in the middle, like for an overhead door. It looks like a 130 x 45 feet building going up...

130 x 45 is only 5850 square feet.  The smallest control center area building listed in the EIS (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/media/FEIS_SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Site_Vol_I.pdf) is 14,186 square feet.

I know the EIS plans can change, but that's a huge difference.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: chad1011 on 08/11/2017 12:02 PM
My guess is that the building will be used during construction and will be temporary in nature.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JBF on 08/11/2017 12:54 PM
My guess is that the building will be used during construction and will be temporary in nature.

There is no such thing as a temporary building that is not on a trailer. If they are going so far as to modify the pad I predict it will be there for years.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: chad1011 on 08/11/2017 01:51 PM
Yes there is such things. We do not know the type of building going up. Those could be foundations for a large metal arch fabric cover building such as from here: http://www.clearspan.com. BTW, concrete work like that is comparatively cheap and does not preclude them from cutting the bolts flush if and when they are done with the building.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/11/2017 02:41 PM
Yes there is such things. We do not know the type of building going up. Those could be foundations for a large metal arch fabric cover building such as from here: http://www.clearspan.com. BTW, concrete work like that is comparatively cheap and does not preclude them from cutting the bolts flush if and when they are done with the building.

Well It does look like they will contruct something under the crane parts, Nonadd may be right about that. But where the crane parts are is a the parcel there's supposed to be a Processing facility.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JBF on 08/11/2017 02:48 PM
Yes there is such things. We do not know the type of building going up. Those could be foundations for a large metal arch fabric cover building such as from here: http://www.clearspan.com. BTW, concrete work like that is comparatively cheap and does not preclude them from cutting the bolts flush if and when they are done with the building.

And I predict it will be there for years.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/11/2017 03:44 PM
 I'm not sure if a temporary building would be much cheaper than a permanent one since you have to build to hurricane standards here if it's going to be up for more than a few months. And there will always be a use for a facility that size once things are operational. Vehicle maintenance, storage, security center or a pool house, since there is a swimming pool right next to it.
 I'm thinking of having a memorial service for all the Century plants that have sacrificed everything so this project could happen. They could at least have made SpaceX tequila out of them.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Wolfram66 on 08/11/2017 03:54 PM
There are 18 holes dug around the crane foundation on LBJ/Eichorn. The ones on the NW end have a wide gap in the middle, like for an overhead door. It looks like a 130 x 45 feet building going up. They were originally going to use that parcel for part of the control center, but Bill didn't sell and they moved everything west. Then he did sell later on, so it looks plans are changing again.

 I ran into a lost looking electrician today about ten miles out who asked me if I knew where the NASA rocket site was. Turns out he needed to go to the portable building they put here months back to start getting utilities going. There were also people hanging around the tracking dish.


Why would they build a pedestal crane at that location [these are not mobile]? What would it be used for? or is this just where the parts will be assembled then transported to Lanuch site for installation and construction? The aforementioned light weight building could just be to protect workers and crane parts from the elements while storing and asebmbly continues...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/11/2017 04:50 PM
My guess is that the building will be used during construction and will be temporary in nature.

There is no such thing as a temporary building that is not on a trailer. If they are going so far as to modify the pad I predict it will be there for years.

They may be digging pilings to support the the load on the crane.  That's my current theory anyway.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/11/2017 06:09 PM

 That's just a convenient spot to store the crane. A big pedestal gantry type crane like that would be good for pad construction. Put it right in the middle and it could handle all the concrete pouring and  piling work. They could even remount the main beam in the vehicle assemby building after construction is done. It wouldn't have any problem handling a Falcon Heavy. Or bigger.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/11/2017 07:23 PM

 That's just a convenient spot to store the crane. A big pedestal gantry type crane like that would be good for pad construction. Put it right in the middle and it could handle all the concrete pouring and  piling work. They could even remount the main beam in the vehicle assemby building after construction is done. It wouldn't have any problem handling a Falcon Heavy. Or bigger.

well I got a pretty good idea where there probably gonna put the pedestal Crane if it is a pedestal crane that is from Appleton inc.
remember that square spot they made near the dirt mound it may be put there.  That's my theory.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: docmordrid on 08/12/2017 03:43 AM
It's a saltwater marine environment in a hurricane zone. Anything but a marine crane would have a helluva maintenance problem.

If that's where it goes and it stays after pad construction, vertical integration appears on the table.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: AncientU on 08/12/2017 10:43 AM

Packer is for a TC2500-128, tower crane, possibly 128ton rating.

Look familiar?  (IOW, are they building Boca Chica out as BFR launch facility?)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Jim on 08/12/2017 01:05 PM
It's a saltwater marine environment in a hurricane zone. Anything but a marine crane would have a helluva maintenance problem.

If that's where it goes and it stays after pad construction, vertical integration appears on the table.

Vertical integration is more than just a crane.  It also means access to any part of the fairing cylinder
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Zed_Noir on 08/12/2017 01:46 PM
It's a saltwater marine environment in a hurricane zone. Anything but a marine crane would have a helluva maintenance problem.

If that's where it goes and it stays after pad construction, vertical integration appears on the table.

Vertical integration is more than just a crane.  It also means access to any part of the fairing cylinder

What @Jim is trying to say is that you need some sort mobile service structure like a gantry at the pad for vertical integration.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: docmordrid on 08/12/2017 01:47 PM
It's a saltwater marine environment in a hurricane zone. Anything but a marine crane would have a helluva maintenance problem.

If that's where it goes and it stays after pad construction, vertical integration appears on the table.

Vertical integration is more than just a crane.  It also means access to any part of the fairing cylinder
I only said that it appeared to indicate VI is on the table, which doesn't exclude the presence of the other bits needed for faring access.


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/12/2017 04:22 PM
 This is what's at the site. The 128 is about what the boom length is.
 Of course, there could be parts for more than one crane there. There's a 22 foot square turntable type base, a large metal building, two cabs and only one 10 foot tall cylinder with various brackets and braces so far. The hook looks at least 500 tons.
 Terry Heaton is an old crane operator and can't really make much sense out of these pieces yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/12/2017 04:51 PM
Not aimed at Nomadd, but to anyone uploading anything on here, don't do it unless you know it's totally OK to do so. This is a public thread, anyone can access and if it doesn't pass the sniff test, an alarm goes off somewhere...and I take it seriously if the IP address of the person raising the alarm is "Brownsville". Awful lot of Brownsville IPs on here, who've never posted. You can do the math.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/12/2017 05:26 PM
 
Not aimed at Nomadd, but to anyone uploading anything on here, don't do it unless you know it's totally OK to do so. This is a public thread, anyone can access and if it doesn't pass the sniff test, an alarm goes off somewhere...and I take it seriously if the IP address of the person raising the alarm is "Brownsville". Awful lot of Brownsville IPs on here, who've never posted. You can do the math.
I actually found a few pieces of paperwork blowing in the wind, but the common sense rule would be, if they intentionally leave it in plain sight, it's fair game. If you have to walk through a fence or accidentally find something like a memo on the status of their new warp drive or galactic domination scheme, it's not for posting. I saw that one thing when the gear was still parked on the road, but it seemed a little nosy to start taking photos. All this speculation is fun, but nothing is anywhere near worth the cost of ruining a great relationship.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Ionmars on 08/13/2017 06:14 PM
It's a saltwater marine environment in a hurricane zone. Anything but a marine crane would have a helluva maintenance problem.

If that's where it goes and it stays after pad construction, vertical integration appears on the table.

Vertical integration is more than just a crane.  It also means access to any part of the fairing cylinder
I only said that it appeared to indicate VI is on the table, which doesn't exclude the presence of the other bits needed for faring access.
Would placing an ITS spaceship atop an ITS booster (as shown at IAC 2016) count as vertical integration?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/13/2017 06:23 PM
It's a saltwater marine environment in a hurricane zone. Anything but a marine crane would have a helluva maintenance problem.

If that's where it goes and it stays after pad construction, vertical integration appears on the table.

Vertical integration is more than just a crane.  It also means access to any part of the fairing cylinder
I only said that it appeared to indicate VI is on the table, which doesn't exclude the presence of the other bits needed for faring access.
Would placing an ITS spaceship atop an ITS booster (as shown at IAC 2016) count as vertical integration?
yes but this is not the thread to discuss ITS
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Santos on 08/13/2017 08:50 PM
There are 18 holes dug around the crane foundation on LBJ/Eichorn. The ones on the NW end have a wide gap in the middle, like for an overhead door.

18 holes?  Not a crane.  Not a pool house.  Mini-Golf!  SpaceX has to keep the troops entertained.  See if a giant windmill goes up next.

(Mods: If this is too silly, feel free to delete.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/14/2017 01:52 AM
Would placing an ITS spaceship atop an ITS booster (as shown at IAC 2016) count as vertical integration?
yes but this is not the thread to discuss ITS
It is if we see things like 500 ton cranes that are overkill for Falcon Heavies and other signs that the design has features to allow for ITS. You can't discuss building a launch site without discussing what will launch there. It's a lot of guesswork, but that's pretty much true of any non "update only" thread.
 I'm sure people who know what they're talking about will be able to say if the flame trench is for Falcon only or methane monsters also when it's form becomes known.
 This is the first site that will be built from scratch after the initial ITS form is sort of settled, so they have a chance for a clean design. I still think that a good part of the leisurely pace here is that they hadn't made a lot of decisions yet that could affect the site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Justchaz on 08/14/2017 04:12 PM
What would have been the idea behind delivering these crane pieces so long before need, just to sit there, and before the road extensions, as wide and heavy as these were, compared to anything that will be brought in later.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JBF on 08/14/2017 05:12 PM
What would have been the idea behind delivering these crane pieces so long before need, just to sit there, and before the road extensions, as wide and heavy as these were, compared to anything that will be brought in later.

Hard to say, but I'd bet it's one of two things.
1.  They were planning on starting sooner, but other things got in the way.
2.  They had got a good deal on the crane/crane parts, but had to take delivery at a certain time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cppetrie on 08/14/2017 05:20 PM
What would have been the idea behind delivering these crane pieces so long before need, just to sit there, and before the road extensions, as wide and heavy as these were, compared to anything that will be brought in later.

Hard to say, but I'd bet it's one of two things.
1.  They were planning on starting sooner, but other things got in the way.
2.  They had got a good deal on the crane/crane parts, but had to take delivery at a certain time.
I'd say likely option 1 and likely it was AMOS-6 incident and need to rebuild SLC-40 that delayed activity at BC.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/14/2017 06:13 PM
 It's not really two different things. They probably ordered the crane when they thought they might be starting sooner and had to take delivery by a certain date. They're obviously saving money where they can, and there's no reason to pay the manufacturer to store the stuff when you have a perfectly good 50 year old chunk of concrete to put it on.
 I'll be gone for a few weeks after today. Casper, Wyoming beckons.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: DOCinCT on 08/14/2017 06:20 PM
  I'll be gone for a few weeks after today. Casper, Wyoming beckons.
Sounds like solar eclipse watching as the center line is near Casper; I'm off to Victor Idaho, staying < 500ft from center line.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/14/2017 07:04 PM
  I'll be gone for a few weeks after today. Casper, Wyoming beckons.
Sounds like solar eclipse watching as the center line is near Casper; I'm off to Victor Idaho, staying < 500ft from center line.

I'm probably staying in a parking lot or open field on the night of the 20th. Campground spots are going for $2,500 there. Hotel rooms cost more than I paid for my 2006 minivan.
 Oh, uh,,, Texas launch site, yada....
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 08/14/2017 07:23 PM
  I'll be gone for a few weeks after today. Casper, Wyoming beckons.
Sounds like solar eclipse watching as the center line is near Casper; I'm off to Victor Idaho, staying < 500ft from center line.

I'm probably staying in a parking lot or open field on the night of the 20th. Campground spots are going for $2,500 there. Hotel rooms cost more than I paid for my 2006 minivan.
 Oh, uh,,, Texas launch site, yada....

I am going to Paducah KY and I got a tent only site 3 days ago for $40/night. Staying fri sat sun night.
Kentucky Lake KOA.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jimvela on 08/14/2017 07:47 PM
  I'll be gone for a few weeks after today. Casper, Wyoming beckons.
Sounds like solar eclipse watching as the center line is near Casper; I'm off to Victor Idaho, staying < 500ft from center line.

I'm probably staying in a parking lot or open field on the night of the 20th. Campground spots are going for $2,500 there. Hotel rooms cost more than I paid for my 2006 minivan.
 Oh, uh,,, Texas launch site, yada....

I am going to Paducah KY and I got a tent only site 3 days ago for $40/night. Staying fri sat sun night.
Kentucky Lake KOA.

Has the NSF community started putting together a list of places in and around Boca Chica to stay when wandering down for launches?
I'd like to know more and may start visiting as the place starts getting closer  to operational...

Also, does NSF have a page for 2017 Eclipse viewing coordination?
I'll be in my RV with a group of fellow members from the TinkerMill.org makerspace in dispersed camping areas just south east of Casper, WY...

Edit/Lar Yes it does:  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41843
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/14/2017 08:50 PM


Has the NSF community started putting together a list of places in and around Boca Chica to stay when wandering down for launches?
I'd like to know more and may start visiting as the place starts getting closer  to operational...

For launches I think most people are just looking at South Padre. Everyplace in Brownsville is almost 20 miles from the site with a two lane highway going in. You can get within 5 miles at South Padre with billions and billions of hotels available. Just to visit, before I had a home here I stayed in a Value Place extended stay hotel on the highway. Cheap and clean, almost new, kitchenettes with Denny's and some Mexican place next door and ducks in the parking lot.
 I mentioned a few pages back that the real adventurers can drive to Playa Bagdad and up the beach to the river to get within 2 1/2 miles of the launch or look for a Mexican boat tour from there that would take you to the border and about half the distance as the southern tip of South Padre.
 I'm still waiting to talk to someone about how many, if any guests I could have without messing up their casualty estimates.
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 08/15/2017 01:42 AM
Eclipse thread is here

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41843

Some posts moved
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/15/2017 12:36 PM
Has the NSF community started putting together a list of places in and around Boca Chica to stay when wandering down for launches?
South Padre Island is building an amphitheater to view SpaceX launches.  The amphitheater will be on the Southern tip of the island, 5 miles from the launch site, and will hold around 1500 people.

South Padre Island is already a big resort destination with lots of other things to do an lots of places to stay.  The Pearl Hotel is the tallest, so the best view may be from a room in the South tower, 25th floor balcony.

You could also try renting a 5th floor condo at the Gulf View Condominiums or La Isla South Padre Residences, as those also seem to have an unobstructed view of the launch site.

I've circled all 3 locations on the first aerial picture below.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/15/2017 01:53 PM
Has the NSF community started putting together a list of places in and around Boca Chica to stay when wandering down for launches?
South Padre Island is building an amphitheater to view SpaceX launches.  The amphitheater will be on the Southern tip of the island, 5 miles from the launch site, and will hold around 1500 people.

South Padre Island is already a big resort destination with lots of other things to do an lots of places to stay.  The Pearl Hotel is the tallest, so the best view may be from a room in the South tower, 25th floor balcony.

You could also try renting a 5th floor condo at the Gulf View Condominiums or La Isla South Padre Residences, as those also seem to have an unobstructed view of the launch site.

I've circled all 3 locations on the first aerial picture below.

Good locations but if you want a up close view of the Rocket I suggest Dolphin Cove at Isla Blanca, don't know when there gonna start Contruction yet maybe late 2017 and finish in 2018. On the Isla Blanca renovations.  People who live there still want to know when Construction starts so they can leave I feel for them.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: RedLineTrain on 08/15/2017 02:44 PM
The current structures were not built with launch viewing in mind -- they face to the ocean, not to the Southeast.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/15/2017 04:24 PM
The current structures were not built with launch viewing in mind -- they face to the ocean, not to the Southeast.

The Gulf View Condominiums and La Isla South Padre Residences both face to the South.  These are the left and center circles in the photo below.

The Pearl towers face East, toward the Gulf of Mexico, but if you have a room on the South end of the South tower, then just go out on your balcony and turn to the right.  And especially if you can get a room like this above the 20th floor, the view of the launch should be outstanding.  The Pearl South tower is the right circle in the photo below.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/15/2017 04:44 PM
Good locations but if you want a up close view of the Rocket I suggest Dolphin Cove at Isla Blanca, don't know when there gonna start Contruction yet maybe late 2017 and finish in 2018.

Dolphin Cove is at the Southern most tip of South Padre Island, 5 miles from the launch site.  This is where they're building the amphitheater that will hold up to 1500 people.  If you're looking for the a festive atmosphere, then this is probably your best bet.

But since the amphitheater will be essentially at ground level, that means you won't be able to see the actual launch pad, and you'll probably only see the top part of the rocket as it sits on the pad.

To see the whole rocket actually lift off the pad, you'll need to be up higher.  The locations I circled are 5.8 miles from the launch site, only 16% further than Dolphin Cove, but much higher up (i.e. between the 5th and 25th floors).

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 08/15/2017 05:43 PM
The tall building that you circled is actually the Sapphire.  The Pearl is located northeast of the Sapphire, and some units in The Pearl will have a view of the launch site.  The lowest floor that will have a clear view of the launch pad depends on how high the pad area is built up.  If it is built up 20 or 30 feet then it's possible that the 2nd or 3rd floors will be able to see the bottom of the rocket.

Work on the amphitheater will happen next year.  I read somewhere that the Isla Blanca trailer park is not taking reservations for next year due to the construction.

I took this picture last October looking back at SPI from a location on Hwy 4 near Boca Chica Villiage.  You can see the Sapphire and some of the other taller buildings.  Padre Blvd points almost directly toward the launch site, and buildings on the west side of the street should have an unobstructed view of the launch.  A year or so ago the city of SPI talked about purchasing the Boardwalk Chaos Nightclub building on Padre Blvd and creating a viewing site there.  However, I haven't heard any further discussion since then.

EDIT:  Looking at it in more detail on Google maps it looks like the Pearl and Sapphire are part of the same complex.  I've always heard the smaller building being referred to as the Pearl, and the taller building the Sapphire.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JChildress on 08/15/2017 10:10 PM
Hey guys I'm new to the forum. I joined because I have a summer home in port Isabel and just got clued into the SpaceX launch pad going into Boca Chica.

I'm a long time believer in Musk...tesla driver since early 2014 and solar city customer as of 2014.

Where is the best place to immerse myself in local info on the Boca Chica pad?  Down here for another week before we head home to get my kids back in school in Dallas and would love to explore a bit.

Thanks for your input.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Elvis in Space on 08/15/2017 10:17 PM
Hey guys I'm new to the forum...
Where is the best place to immerse myself in local info on the Boca Chica pad? 

You're there. Read through this forum and the others regarding Spacex launch facilities.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/15/2017 10:34 PM
Hey guys I'm new to the forum. I joined because I have a summer home in port Isabel and just got clued into the SpaceX launch pad going into Boca Chica.

I'm a long time believer in Musk...tesla driver since early 2014 and solar city customer as of 2014.

Where is the best place to immerse myself in local info on the Boca Chica pad?  Down here for another week before we head home to get my kids back in school in Dallas and would love to explore a bit.

Thanks for your input.

Yea you are here in the SpaceX Boca Chica discussion, you can go trough previous threads if you find them. If you want to stay on this thread you will find out more about the launch site activity in the coming months.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Kansan52 on 08/15/2017 10:42 PM
Take the drive to Boca Chica Beach and say 'Hello' to the angel repaired by Nomadd. You can see the progress to the Stargate building, probably see the new crane in pieces waiting to do it's work, and definitely see the huge mound of dirt that will be the heart of the launch complex!
Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cppetrie on 08/15/2017 11:02 PM
I suggest driving by the SpaceX test facility outside McGregor on your way back to Dallas. Drove down there this past weekend. Got to see a 2nd stage being extracted from the test stand. There's no tour or anything. Just see what you can see from the road. If you work your way back on some public gravel roads you can get some decent views of the test stands. The best view of the S2 stand is from Mother Neff road just south of the complex.

Edit: typo
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JChildress on 08/16/2017 12:32 AM
Another question for the experts here.  My place is in Port Isabel just North of 100.  The roof is about 40 feet high.  I have been contemplating putting in a rooftop deck, originally to be able to see the fireworks better but now this is a new wrinkle.  I am about 7 miles away as the crow flies to the site but with no major obstructions.  Do you guys think I am high enough to have a reasonable view of the launch site?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Comga on 08/16/2017 01:10 AM
Another question for the experts here.  My place is in Port Isabel just North of 100.  The roof is about 40 feet high.  I have been contemplating putting in a rooftop deck, originally to be able to see the fireworks better but now this is a new wrinkle.  I am about 7 miles away as the crow flies to the site but with no major obstructions.  Do you guys think I am high enough to have a reasonable view of the launch site?

From 40 ft up you should have a view to a horizon almost 8 miles away, so you could see the ground at SpaceX Boca Chica.
http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm (http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm)
or use the approximation d=sqrt(h*6378) where d and h are in kilometers.
(40 ft = 0.012 km)
Plus the launch pad will be raised.  If it's only 20 ft up you would have a line of sight to the base at ~13 miles.
In fact, if your deck and the launch pad were only 10 ft up, you have a line of sight to the base of the pad lying in a beach chair.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/16/2017 01:59 AM
Another question for the experts here.  My place is in Port Isabel just North of 100.  The roof is about 40 feet high.  I have been contemplating putting in a rooftop deck, originally to be able to see the fireworks better but now this is a new wrinkle.  I am about 7 miles away as the crow flies to the site but with no major obstructions.  Do you guys think I am high enough to have a reasonable view of the launch site?
The launch pad will probably be a little higher than the dunes, at least 12 feet to keep out of hurricane surge. So you'd probably have a good shot at 20 feet high from there. Look toward the village and see how good a view you have of the big STARGATE building.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 08/16/2017 12:33 PM
Another question for the experts here.  My place is in Port Isabel just North of 100.  The roof is about 40 feet high.  I have been contemplating putting in a rooftop deck, originally to be able to see the fireworks better but now this is a new wrinkle.  I am about 7 miles away as the crow flies to the site but with no major obstructions.  Do you guys think I am high enough to have a reasonable view of the launch site?

From 40 ft up you should have a view to a horizon almost 8 miles away, so you could see the ground at SpaceX Boca Chica.
http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm (http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm)
or use the approximation d=sqrt(h*6378) where d and h are in kilometers.
(40 ft = 0.012 km)
Plus the launch pad will be raised.  If it's only 20 ft up you would have a line of sight to the base at ~13 miles.
In fact, if your deck and the launch pad were only 10 ft up, you have a line of sight to the base of the pad lying in a beach chair.

why does d=sqrt(.01*6378) give me 7.98 km?
I use d=3.5558*sqrt(13) which gives me 12820 m or 12.8 km
EDIT:
Looked up on wikipedia and
d=3.57*sqrt(h) is a better approximation
The formula from pyth theorem is
d=sqrt(h*(2*re+h)) where re is avg radius of earth

EDIT EDIT:
your formula should be
d=sqrt(h*6378*2)
where 6378 is the eq radius of the earth.


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Oersted on 08/16/2017 02:28 PM
Your formulas are typical landlubber stuff which doesn't take the very real effect of refraction into consideration. You need to add on average 7% to the distance you can see due to the bending of the lightwaves as they travel through the (varying densities) of atmospheric air.

Greets, Oersted (former Danish Navy guy)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/16/2017 04:02 PM
The launch pad will probably be a little higher than the dunes, at least 12 feet to keep out of hurricane surge. So you'd probably have a good shot at 20 feet high from there. Look toward the village and see how good a view you have of the big STARGATE building.

Good point.  If you can see most of the STARGATE building, you should be able to see the pad.  A simple eyeball test is best.

As for all the formulas on earth curvature, note that obstructions will have a much bigger effect.  There's sand dunes, tall grass, and 7 buildings off the North end of Boca Chica beach (see picture below).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Arb on 08/16/2017 10:38 PM
The tall building that you circled is actually the Sapphire.  The Pearl is located northeast of the Sapphire...
http://www.sapphiresouthpadre.com/ (http://www.sapphiresouthpadre.com/)
http://www.pearlsouthpadre.com/ (http://www.pearlsouthpadre.com/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Comga on 08/17/2017 04:22 AM
Your formulas are typical landlubber stuff which doesn't take the very real effect of refraction into consideration. You need to add on average 7% to the distance you can see due to the bending of the lightwaves as they travel through the (varying densities) of atmospheric air.

Greets, Oersted (former Danish Navy guy)

Oersted knows that when you get down to the level of atmospheric refraction there are many other effects, like dust, haze, and humidity. 

Dave G is also right that an "eyeball test" is best.
Look for the mound where the HIF will be built.
Maybe soon there will be a crane to target.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 08/17/2017 11:06 PM
Hey guys I'm new to the forum. I joined because I have a summer home in port Isabel and just got clued into the SpaceX launch pad going into Boca Chica.

I'm a long time believer in Musk...tesla driver since early 2014 and solar city customer as of 2014.

Where is the best place to immerse myself in local info on the Boca Chica pad?  Down here for another week before we head home to get my kids back in school in Dallas and would love to explore a bit.

Thanks for your input.

For context, the most common place to watch the launches at Kennedy is 13 miles from the 39A pad with no elevation and with trees in the way. The closest place that is open to the public is about 5.5 miles away with no elevation and trees in the way. So 40ft up and 9 miles is a view you have to pay for in Florida.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JChildress on 08/18/2017 09:06 PM
Hey guys I'm new to the forum. I joined because I have a summer home in port Isabel and just got clued into the SpaceX launch pad going into Boca Chica.

I'm a long time believer in Musk...tesla driver since early 2014 and solar city customer as of 2014.

Where is the best place to immerse myself in local info on the Boca Chica pad?  Down here for another week before we head home to get my kids back in school in Dallas and would love to explore a bit.

Thanks for your input.

For context, the most common place to watch the launches at Kennedy is 13 miles from the 39A pad with no elevation and with trees in the way. The closest place that is open to the public is about 5.5 miles away with no elevation and trees in the way. So 40ft up and 9 miles is a view you have to pay for in Florida.


We drove over the other day to check it out. Not much going on but I took these pics
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/19/2017 01:30 AM
Hey guys I'm new to the forum. I joined because I have a summer home in port Isabel and just got clued into the SpaceX launch pad going into Boca Chica.

I'm a long time believer in Musk...tesla driver since early 2014 and solar city customer as of 2014.

Where is the best place to immerse myself in local info on the Boca Chica pad?  Down here for another week before we head home to get my kids back in school in Dallas and would love to explore a bit.

Thanks for your input.

For context, the most common place to watch the launches at Kennedy is 13 miles from the 39A pad with no elevation and with trees in the way. The closest place that is open to the public is about 5.5 miles away with no elevation and trees in the way. So 40ft up and 9 miles is a view you have to pay for in Florida.


We drove over the other day to check it out. Not much going on but I took these pics

I can tell you when You can probably  see activity pick up, the tracking dish in your pic there's another one coming late this year. 2 of 2 tracking dish to be installed completely by SpaceX, at the site in 2016–2017. They will be used as additional tracking resources for human-carrying Dragon missions. and if you don't know there's some obstacles that  SpaceX has to do first before going to Boca Chica. they also got to repair and activate LC-40 which will be ready in October and modify LC-39A  for a monster rocket falcon heavy that will launch in November.  After all of that is done what now? Well the SpaceX team will come over here to Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Mike_1179 on 08/22/2017 04:48 PM
Looking like the remnants of tropical depression Harvey are set to dump a lot of rain on the Texas coast. While not a high wind event, could be a the type of storm that drops a lot of rain like TS Allison back in 2001. So my question is, what happens to things like the soil surcharge if there is really significant rain events? Do you have to replace the washed-out material and wait for the wicks to drain out more water before construction can start?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Kansan52 on 08/22/2017 08:45 PM
My guess is no. Earlier posts have said that the 'mound' will be reduced after settling. Some extra dirt was deposited to speed settling and it will need to be removed when construction begins.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/23/2017 04:28 AM
Looking like the remnants of tropical depression Harvey are set to dump a lot of rain on the Texas coast. While not a high wind event, could be a the type of storm that drops a lot of rain like TS Allison back in 2001. So my question is, what happens to things like the soil surcharge if there is really significant rain events? Do you have to replace the washed-out material and wait for the wicks to drain out more water before construction can start?

Think the rain is helping it settled fast
It may very well be settled
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/23/2017 11:48 AM
So my question is, what happens to things like the soil surcharge if there is really significant rain events? Do you have to replace the washed-out material and wait for the wicks to drain out more water before construction can start?

I don't have the link handy, but in a previous post on Thread 3 or 4 someone said that any moisture absorbed by the surcharge soil layer tends to evaporate very quickly.  They said the type of soil used for the surcharge is chosen specifically for this characteristic.

Earlier posts have said that the 'mound' will be reduced after settling. Some extra dirt was deposited to speed settling and it will need to be removed when construction begins.

Yes, the mound is supposed to settle somewhat, but it will still be a sizable.

My guess is they spread it around somewhat to help level the site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/23/2017 03:11 PM
So my question is, what happens to things like the soil surcharge if there is really significant rain events? Do you have to replace the washed-out material and wait for the wicks to drain out more water before construction can start?

I don't have the link handy, but in a previous post on Thread 3 or 4 someone said that any moisture absorbed by the surcharge soil layer tends to evaporate very quickly.  They said the type of soil used for the surcharge is chosen specifically for this characteristic.

Earlier posts have said that the 'mound' will be reduced after settling. Some extra dirt was deposited to speed settling and it will need to be removed when construction begins.

Yes, the mound is supposed to settle somewhat, but it will still be a sizable.

My guess is they spread it around somewhat to help level the site.
Runoff and evaporation seems to be the fate of rainfall around here. I've dug holes after two inches of rain and found only the first 12 inches or so wet. It's only spots that sit in standing water for long periods, like the mound site, that are soggy beneath.
 Causeways and the control center should be way more than enough to use any extra mound dirt if it's the right type. I'd expect at least a 3 or 4 foot base for the control center buildings given historic flood levels.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 08/23/2017 03:24 PM
How much, if anything, did they raise the Stargate building? It's farther inland I think but...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: The_Ronin on 08/23/2017 03:31 PM
We need an eclipse & launch party on 4/8/24 at Nomadd's place, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: neoforce on 08/23/2017 07:29 PM
We need an eclipse & launch party on 4/8/24 at Nomadd's place, right?

Except he isn't in the path of totality. 😢
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/24/2017 04:50 AM
How much, if anything, did they raise the Stargate building? It's farther inland I think but...
It's about 4 feet above ground level at the rear end near the water, and about 2 feet high near the road.
 Just memory. I'm still slowly working my way back from Casper, testing steakhouses and Irish pubs till the 29th.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/24/2017 03:20 PM
 4 foot surge coming with my doorstep at 5 feet. My first beachfront property. Probably should have put the shutters up.
 All that gear near the mound might be underwater tomorrow. The crane should escape flooding.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 08/24/2017 03:23 PM
Thanks for the Stargate info and pic, Nomadd. I hope your testing is successful.  And that the NSF clubhouse (hehe, remember the start of your adventure) weathers things OK.

Harvey will be an interesting test for the location, it is the most serious storm to come anywhere near since SpaceX started working seriously, I think, but it's not a Cat 4 or anything so it's going to allow them to get in and observe faster than if it was really strong, I expect... They may want to revise some plans if not everything comes out ok.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/24/2017 03:30 PM
 The highway will be underwater for stretches. Anybody who wants to try and have a look after the storm will probably run into some serious mud, so the Miata might not be the best choice.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 08/24/2017 05:19 PM
The five day tracking map is ugly!  Looks like the storm is going to come on shore and just sit there for a couple of days.

https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2017/hurricane-harvey?map=5day&MR=1

Edit: Updated map
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 08/24/2017 05:24 PM
The highway will be underwater for stretches. Anybody who wants to try and have a look after the storm will probably run into some serious mud, so the Miata might not be the best choice.
Just put some bigger tyres on her and she'll be right as rain....  er, so to speak ...

More seriously, hope all goes well.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Cowboy Dan on 08/24/2017 05:34 PM
Topographical map of the area from a dig in the UT-Austin Map Room, last night. Think I labeled the points of interest correctly.


Edit: Stargate's position correct. Dish #1 & #2's pad is across street and a tad further North (near M in "Mesa").
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Wolfram66 on 08/24/2017 05:59 PM
The highway will be underwater for stretches. Anybody who wants to try and have a look after the storm will probably run into some serious mud, so the Miata might not be the best choice.
http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/atlantic/movies/g8wvbbm/g8wvbbm_loop.html (http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/atlantic/movies/g8wvbbm/g8wvbbm_loop.html)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Req on 08/24/2017 06:02 PM
Too bad we don't have a streaming storm surge cam to monitor Nomadd's shorelineyard :P
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 08/24/2017 07:49 PM
Folks that enjoy sharing storm info are encouraged to contribute to this thread:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43628 which is for all of the space impact of Harvey... not just here.

I won't be moving any posts as I crosslinked from there to the start of the info here for reference, all the stuff here is fine. (a lot of it is Boca specific anyway).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/25/2017 07:22 AM
Topographical map of the area from a dig in the UT-Austin Map Room, last night. Think I labeled the points of interest correctly.
The tracking dish is near the houses, about where the M in Mesa is. I'm not sure if STARGATE is upgrading or operating it, but it's SpaceX owned and they're the ones who installed and are taking care of it for now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/25/2017 12:06 PM
Topographical map of the area from a dig in the UT-Austin Map Room, last night. Think I labeled the points of interest correctly.
The tracking dish is near the houses, about where the M in Mesa is.

Also as shown on the map below.

I'm not sure if STARGATE is upgrading or operating it, but it's SpaceX owned and they're the ones who installed and are taking care of it for now.

I doubt STARGATE will operate the antenna dish initially.

The antenna dish was installed for SpaceX commercial crew launches from Cape Canaveral.  As part of the contract for commercial crew SpaceX is required to track Dragon 2 in orbit, and NASA required that some of these orbital tracking stations be located away from the cape. See here for details:
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/business/article_d7031782-6656-11e6-a638-f3b7452178ae.html

Given that commercial crew is a high priority, I suspect SpaceX will upgrade and operate the dish initially.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/25/2017 12:11 PM
$246 million worth of construction underway at UTRGV
https://riograndeguardian.com/anderson-246-million-worth-of-construction-underway-at-utrgv/

Quote
“It was a difficult budget year for all of higher education and UTRGV was probably affected a little bit more than others because of the number of special line items we have,” Anderson told the McAllen EDC board of directors...

Anderson said the Legislature also cut funding for the UTRGV School of Medicine.

“That took a relatively significant hair cut from about $31 million a year to about $25 million a year for the medical school...

Asked if the state funding cuts had negatively impacted the new STARGATE facility UTRGV is building in association with SpaceX, Anderson said no.

“I understand they got all state match fees. All the documentation has been turned in and the project is nearing completion,” Anderson said.

The $1.8 million STARGATE Technology Center is a 15,000 square-foot facility under construction along Highway 4, adjacent to Boca Chica Beach, approximately 25 miles east of Brownsville.

Funded by a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant, the STARGATE Technology Center will allow research and collaboration on a variety of projects and will serve as a base for radio frequency laboratories, classrooms, business incubator offices and flexible lab and research space near the SpaceX Commercial Launch Facility.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Wolfram66 on 08/25/2017 02:30 PM
The five day tracking map is ugly!  Looks like the storm is going to come on shore and just sit there for a couple of days.

https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2017/hurricane-harvey?map=5day&MR=1

Edit: Updated map

here's a feed from NWS realtime Doppler Radar
https://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=bro&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=yes (https://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=bro&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=yes)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/25/2017 05:04 PM
 I'm not hurrying back. The 29th is soon enough. Terry Heaton will be alone out there. He said he took the old broken fence in Syrinx's yard down so it wouldn't wind up in his living room.
 He also said that construction had started on whatever structure they're erecting around the crane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: spacetraveler on 08/25/2017 05:05 PM
Thanks for the Stargate info and pic, Nomadd. I hope your testing is successful.  And that the NSF clubhouse (hehe, remember the start of your adventure) weathers things OK.

Harvey will be an interesting test for the location, it is the most serious storm to come anywhere near since SpaceX started working seriously, I think, but it's not a Cat 4 or anything so it's going to allow them to get in and observe faster than if it was really strong, I expect... They may want to revise some plans if not everything comes out ok.

The storm intensified overnight. Current projections say it could make landfall as a cat 3 or cat 4. But it definitely looks like Brownsville will not take the brunt of the high winds.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: acsawdey on 08/25/2017 05:38 PM
Thanks for the Stargate info and pic, Nomadd. I hope your testing is successful.  And that the NSF clubhouse (hehe, remember the start of your adventure) weathers things OK.

Harvey will be an interesting test for the location, it is the most serious storm to come anywhere near since SpaceX started working seriously, I think, but it's not a Cat 4 or anything so it's going to allow them to get in and observe faster than if it was really strong, I expect... They may want to revise some plans if not everything comes out ok.

The storm intensified overnight. Current projections say it could make landfall as a cat 3 or cat 4. But it definitely looks like Brownsville will not take the brunt of the high winds.

Since it's going north of Brownsville, the winds there are blowing out to sea so shouldn't be much of a storm surge either, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/25/2017 06:03 PM
 2 to 4 foot surge. 4 is the most I'd care to see since the houses are 5 or 6 feet. The road is less than 1 foot above flood in spots. The pad site is worse because they'll have to worry about wave activity if the surge get past the dunes. I still need to get in gear and fix up some elevated storage for the important stuff in case we ever see 10 feet. Flood insurance was too ridiculous to get here to avoid a little sheetrock work every 50 years.

Too bad we don't have a streaming storm surge cam to monitor Nomadd's shorelineyard :P

I have some vague ideas for webcams, but am waiting to see what SpaceX builds before worrying about it. I might need a decent tower if they put a lot of junk across the road. It would take about 50 feet to clear the big pine trees between me and the control center in any case. I have plenty of solar and remote wifi experience if it's away from the house. A 2 mile, full speed 802.11g link is a lot easier than most people realize when it's a relatively quiet rf environment. Cheap 100mw radios and a couple of 26dbi antennas don't cost too much. Some of the $80 Linksys WAPs you can get in Best Buy are as sensitive as anything I've ever used. The narrow beams make it easy to plan the link so you're not staring at someone else's gear. High gain antennas can be as useful by eliminating interference as they are for boosting signal.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 08/25/2017 06:25 PM
I have some vague ideas for webcams, but am waiting to see what SpaceX builds before worrying about it. I might need a decent tower if they put a lot of junk across the road. It would take about 50 feet to clear the big pine trees between me and the control center in any case. I have plenty of solar and remote wifi experience if it's away from the house. A 2 mile, full speed 802.11g link is a lot easier than most people realize when it's a relatively quiet rf environment. Cheap 100mw radios and a couple of 26dbi antennas don't cost too much. Some of the $80 Linksys WAPs you can get in Best Buy are as sensitive as anything I've ever used. The narrow beams make it easy to plan the link so you're not staring at someone else's gear. High gain antennas can be as useful by eliminating interference as they are for boosting signal.

Would be interesting to see how SpaceX would react if you put up a 100' crank up tower in your yard (http://www.ustower.com/towerproducts/hdx-5160mdpl/).  As I'm sure you know, licensed amateur can go up to 200', but I don't think your neighbors would appreciate having guy-wires coming down in their yards.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: midnightrider3000 on 08/25/2017 07:20 PM
" A 2 mile, full speed 802.11g link is a lot easier than most people realize when it's a relatively quiet rf environment. Cheap 100mw radios and a couple of 26dbi antennas don't cost too much. "


Ubiquiti UniFi

I'd check them out. Search around the internet you can often get some good deals. Easy to install and manage. It's enterprise level but a lot easier than tinkering with consumer product for about the same price point.



Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/25/2017 07:34 PM
 I have a strict policy of not buying towers that cost more than my house.
 I'm considering 60 feet of Rohn 25. Maybe with a good pan/tilt/zoom webcam you can operate for a sixpack of Abita Amber an hour. 
 (Can you believe these Brit spellchecks. One of the twelve most important words in the English language, and sixpack isn't in the database. Or Abita)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Req on 08/25/2017 08:55 PM
http://www.sopadre.com/about-us/live-webcams/

The webcams on this site make it look pretty calm and pleasant at the moment.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ChrisC on 08/26/2017 03:14 AM
Topographical map of the area from a dig in the UT-Austin Map Room, last night. Think I labeled the points of interest correctly.

I've been to that room.  Amazing.  I remember when the Perry-Casteneda collection was THE place to get maps online, in the early days of the web.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 08/26/2017 10:45 PM
All you guys giving Nomadd advice ... you don't know what he does for a living do you? :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/27/2017 02:02 AM
 I could buy diamond crusted doorknobs but I don't need those either. I'm old enough to not need a Cisco when a Netgear will do or 3,000 lines of code to turn a lightbulb on.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jak Kennedy on 08/27/2017 02:47 AM
All you guys giving Nomadd advice ... you don't know what he does for a living do you? :)

I am thinking Nomadd will be selling dark glasses in the future for watching launches from his viewing stand. Something I came away with from watching a launch recently was how bright the flame was. Cameras and videos compensate for the brightness. Hopefully one day I can visit and watch another launch close up :-)

Nomadd do you know the minimum distance they will allow viewing from? Thanks
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/27/2017 03:15 AM
My house is 1.6 miles. Non residents can get to 2.5 miles in Mexico or 5 miles in South Padre. They haven't said how they'll feel about non resident guests up close yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: dorkmo on 08/27/2017 07:26 AM
My house is 1.6 miles. Non residents can get to 2.5 miles in Mexico or 5 miles in South Padre. They haven't said how they'll feel about non resident guests up close yet.

guests?? i thought we were all roommates?  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 08/27/2017 11:03 AM
I have a strict policy of not buying towers that cost more than my house.
 I'm considering 60 feet of Rohn 25. Maybe with a good pan/tilt/zoom webcam you can operate for a sixpack of Abita Amber an hour. 

That tower would definitely be a donation only type of item.  Would still be funny to see in place, however.  Regardless, if you can get 60 feet of tower mounted without the neighbors having a fit then you are in a far better shape than I am.  The suburban curse, if you sneeze the neighbors call in the CDC.  60' up at less than two miles away, I bet you could lease out space on the tower for some of the groups who like to track launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Wolfram66 on 08/27/2017 07:33 PM
I have a strict policy of not buying towers that cost more than my house.
 I'm considering 60 feet of Rohn 25. Maybe with a good pan/tilt/zoom webcam you can operate for a sixpack of Abita Amber an hour. 

That tower would definitely be a donation only type of item.  Would still be funny to see in place, however.  Regardless, if you can get 60 feet of tower mounted without the neighbors having a fit then you are in a far better shape than I am.  The suburban curse, if you sneeze the neighbors call in the CDC.  60' up at less than two miles away, I bet you could lease out space on the tower for some of the groups who like to track launches.
consider telescoping or hydraulic piston mechanism like the elevator at Stargate.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: DJPledger on 08/27/2017 08:18 PM
All you guys giving Nomadd advice ... you don't know what he does for a living do you? :)

I am thinking Nomadd will be selling dark glasses in the future for watching launches from his viewing stand. Something I came away with from watching a launch recently was how bright the flame was. Cameras and videos compensate for the brightness. Hopefully one day I can visit and watch another launch close up :-)

Nomadd do you know the minimum distance they will allow viewing from? Thanks
Won't need dark glasses for viewing any BFR launches from Boca Chica as the Raptor engines will produce much less bright blue flames which will only be faintly visible in full sunlight.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meekGee on 08/27/2017 08:36 PM
All you guys giving Nomadd advice ... you don't know what he does for a living do you? :)

I am thinking Nomadd will be selling dark glasses in the future for watching launches from his viewing stand. Something I came away with from watching a launch recently was how bright the flame was. Cameras and videos compensate for the brightness. Hopefully one day I can visit and watch another launch close up :-)

Nomadd do you know the minimum distance they will allow viewing from? Thanks
Won't need dark glasses for viewing any BFR launches from Boca Chica as the Raptor engines will produce much less bright blue flames which will only be faintly visible in full sunlight.

Well if the same brightness is showing up in the UV, I don't think your retinas will be appreciate it...  It'll actually be worse, since there won't be a pupil response to protect you...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SLC on 08/27/2017 08:49 PM
All you guys giving Nomadd advice ... you don't know what he does for a living do you? :)

I am thinking Nomadd will be selling dark glasses in the future for watching launches from his viewing stand. Something I came away with from watching a launch recently was how bright the flame was. Cameras and videos compensate for the brightness. Hopefully one day I can visit and watch another launch close up :-)

Nomadd do you know the minimum distance they will allow viewing from? Thanks
Won't need dark glasses for viewing any BFR launches from Boca Chica as the Raptor engines will produce much less bright blue flames which will only be faintly visible in full sunlight.

Well if the same brightness is showing up in the UV, I don't think your retinas will be appreciate it...  It'll actually be worse, since there won't be a pupil response to protect you...
Does hydrolox rocket exhaust produce a lot of eye-damaging UV?  Would methane-lox be different?  (Sorry, off-topic I know, but this must be a slack time at Boca Chica while everyone waits out Harvey ...)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: alang on 08/27/2017 09:02 PM
All you guys giving Nomadd advice ... you don't know what he does for a living do you? :)

I am thinking Nomadd will be selling dark glasses in the future for watching launches from his viewing stand. Something I came away with from watching a launch recently was how bright the flame was. Cameras and videos compensate for the brightness. Hopefully one day I can visit and watch another launch close up :-)

Nomadd do you know the minimum distance they will allow viewing from? Thanks
Won't need dark glasses for viewing any BFR launches from Boca Chica as the Raptor engines will produce much less bright blue flames which will only be faintly visible in full sunlight.

Well if the same brightness is showing up in the UV, I don't think your retinas will be appreciate it...  It'll actually be worse, since there won't be a pupil response to protect you...

I've seen an article claim that peak brilliance in a methalox flame is at 308nm which seems to be also referred to as UVB, i.e. not the worst.
Maybe we should be concerned about viewing night launches until somebody does the numbers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rpapo on 08/27/2017 09:13 PM
I've seen an article claim that peak brilliance in a methalox flame is at 308nm which seems to be also referred to as UVB, i.e. not the worst.
Maybe we should be concerned about viewing night launches until somebody does the numbers.
According to Cancer.org, UVB is worse than UVA because it is more energetic.  UVC, which is even more energetic, gets blocked by the atmosphere.

See https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/what-is-uv-radiation.html

It is probable the atmosphere, especially at sea level, mutes UVA and UVB beyond a certain distance too, but just what that distance is is a nice question.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/27/2017 09:50 PM
 I could always sell 15 second tanning sessions.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meekGee on 08/27/2017 09:52 PM
My point was that if it was "too bright" in the visible, and then got shifted into UV, it is still just as bright.

On top of that, your pupils don't react.

Then, on top of that, UV photons generate more damage, but I don't know exactly how much worse that is.

I know that when I cure UV adhesives, I wear UV glasses....
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meekGee on 08/27/2017 09:54 PM
I could always sell 15 seconds tanning sessions.

Oooh!  A "Close Encounters"-style one-side-of-your-face tan!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/28/2017 03:35 AM
I could always sell 15 seconds tanning sessions.

Oooh!  A "Close Encounters"-style one-side-of-your-face tan!
15% off if you built Boca Chica village out of mashed potatoes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 08/28/2017 01:46 PM
My point was that if it was "too bright" in the visible, and then got shifted into UV, it is still just as bright.

On top of that, your pupils don't react.

Then, on top of that, UV photons generate more damage, but I don't know exactly how much worse that is.

I know that when I cure UV adhesives, I wear UV glasses....

Should be related to the temp of the exhaust. The reason LOX/RP1 is bright is because of carbon particles radiating. No carbon in LOX/CH4 so not as much emissions. But the spectrum is related to temp and I don't think LOX/CH4 is hotter?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: philw1776 on 08/28/2017 02:15 PM
My point was that if it was "too bright" in the visible, and then got shifted into UV, it is still just as bright.

On top of that, your pupils don't react.

Then, on top of that, UV photons generate more damage, but I don't know exactly how much worse that is.

I know that when I cure UV adhesives, I wear UV glasses....

So, the future is so bright we'll need to wear shades!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Mike_1179 on 08/28/2017 02:34 PM

Should be related to the temp of the exhaust. The reason LOX/RP1 is bright is because of carbon particles radiating. No carbon in LOX/CH4 so not as much emissions. But the spectrum is related to temp and I don't think LOX/CH4 is hotter?


Why no carbon in the exhaust? Even a methalox engine would be run fuel-rich to keep engine temp down, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 08/28/2017 02:40 PM

Should be related to the temp of the exhaust. The reason LOX/RP1 is bright is because of carbon particles radiating. No carbon in LOX/CH4 so not as much emissions. But the spectrum is related to temp and I don't think LOX/CH4 is hotter?


Why no carbon in the exhaust? Even a methalox engine would be run fuel-rich to keep engine temp down, right?

Well at least orders of magnitude less...
Doesn't the raptor test run show that?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/28/2017 04:43 PM
Boca Chica Texas - SpaceX Launch Site

Note: This drone video concentrates on the launch site only.  No footage of the control site, antenna dish, STARGATE building, new structure around the crane, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLdPm07pEbg
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Mike_1179 on 08/28/2017 05:19 PM

Well at least orders of magnitude less...
Doesn't the raptor test run show that?

That was a subscale engine. If it used an ablative nozzle for the test but the flight engines will have a regen-cooled one then temperatures could be different.

Pretty much saying: no idea
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 08/28/2017 05:49 PM
Boca Chica Texas - SpaceX Launch Site

Note: This drone video concentrates on the launch site only.  No footage of the control site, antenna dish, STARGATE building, new structure around the crane, etc.

Doesn't Texas have laws regarding drones flying low over private property?  I can understand it being legal when the drone is over the highway or the federal land surrounding the launch site, but some of the passes in this video appear to go right over the fenced areas at low altitude. 

I seem to recall a few cases in the news of drones being shotgunned out of the sky when they went over people's property and there not being anything the drone owner could do about it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/28/2017 06:03 PM
Boca Chica Texas - SpaceX Launch Site

Note: This drone video concentrates on the launch site only.  No footage of the control site, antenna dish, STARGATE building, new structure around the crane, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLdPm07pEbg

Yea I asked the creator to do drone footage around the village and STARGATE. This time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Kansan52 on 08/28/2017 06:22 PM
Checking on my memory. Speculation is that the hanger mound will be reduced and the overfill will be used for the TEL rampway and also the launchpad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/28/2017 10:17 PM
Checking on my memory. Speculation is that the hanger mound will be reduced and the overfill will be used for the TEL rampway and also the launchpad.

SpaceX will remove some dirt to put on the pad and some for the control center I believe.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/28/2017 10:27 PM
Boca Chica Texas - SpaceX Launch Site

Note: This drone video concentrates on the launch site only.  No footage of the control site, antenna dish, STARGATE building, new structure around the crane, etc.

Doesn't Texas have laws regarding drones flying low over private property?  I can understand it being legal when the drone is over the highway or the federal land surrounding the launch site, but some of the passes in this video appear to go right over the fenced areas at low altitude. 

I seem to recall a few cases in the news of drones being shotgunned out of the sky when they went over people's property and there not being anything the drone owner could do about it.
Shotguns aren't sporting enough. I prefer a .308.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 08/28/2017 11:07 PM
Boca Chica Texas - SpaceX Launch Site

Note: This drone video concentrates on the launch site only.  No footage of the control site, antenna dish, STARGATE building, new structure around the crane, etc.

Doesn't Texas have laws regarding drones flying low over private property?  I can understand it being legal when the drone is over the highway or the federal land surrounding the launch site, but some of the passes in this video appear to go right over the fenced areas at low altitude. 

I seem to recall a few cases in the news of drones being shotgunned out of the sky when they went over people's property and there not being anything the drone owner could do about it.
Shotguns aren't sporting enough. I prefer a .308.
Dude, that's a heavy round that's gonna be coming down somewhere. :)

(In all seriousness, at least one person was injured this year in downtown Nashville by falling rounds on 4th of July, though I don't recall hearing if it was a rifle or handgun bullet).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/29/2017 05:44 AM
 It looks like these tubes interlock, which would mean 3 foot by 20 foot pilings around the MOAC. Kind of heavy duty for a small, temporary warehouse. I haven't seen them working on it yet. I just stopped by to pick something up and wonder why so many geniuses wait till after the hurricane to buy gas. The lines were beyond belief.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/29/2017 12:36 PM
There are 18 holes dug around the crane foundation on LBJ/Eichorn. The ones on the NW end have a wide gap in the middle, like for an overhead door. It looks like a 130 x 45 feet building going up. They were originally going to use that parcel for part of the control center, but Bill didn't sell and they moved everything west. Then he did sell later on, so it looks plans are changing again.

It looks like these tubes interlock, which would mean 3 foot by 20 foot pilings around the MOAC. Kind of heavy duty for a small, temporary warehouse.

I have no idea what type of building this will be.  As I said before, 130 x 45 is only 5850 ft2.

The EIS (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/media/FEIS_SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Site_Vol_I.pdf) calls for a total of 9 buildings, 4 at the Vertical Launch Area, and 5 at the Control Center Area:

Vertical Launch Area:
1. Integration and Processing Hangar: 360 x 120 x 65 ft high
2. Warehouse: 80 x 135 x 45 ft high
3. Workshop:  80 x 135 x 45 ft high
4. Office: 80 ft x 40 ft

Control Center Area:
5. Launch Vehicle Processing Hangar: 30,774 ft2, 50-65 ft tall, similar to the Hangar at the launch site, but shorter
6. Launch Control Center Building #1: 14,186 ft2 and 30-45 ft in height
7. Payload Processing Facility #1: 14,669 ft2 and 65-85 ft in height
8. Launch Control Center Building #2: 14,186 ft2 and 30-45 ft in height
9. Payload Processing Facility #2: 14,669 ft2 and 65-85 ft in height

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 08/29/2017 01:45 PM
Maybe it's a multi-story launch control building.  2 stories would be 11,700 ft2, and 3 stories would be 17,550 ft2.  A 2-story building would be 25-30 feet high, and a 3-story building 35-40 feet high.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Arb on 08/29/2017 08:05 PM
Courtesy of  https://www.facebook.com/SPILife/photos/a.10152825561963260.1073741842.159915108259/10155500527203260/ (https://www.facebook.com/SPILife/photos/a.10152825561963260.1073741842.159915108259/10155500527203260/)

Edit: Many more at https://www.facebook.com/pg/SPILife/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10152825561963260 (https://www.facebook.com/pg/SPILife/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10152825561963260)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ChrisC on 08/30/2017 02:51 AM
Note that all of those photos are from 2014-2016, not new.

Was the soil surcharge mountain really built so long ago, back in 2014?  (wanders off to check these NSF threads)  Nope, they built the mountain in April 2016.  So I don't understand the 2014 datestamps on the photos in that FB album.  EDIT: I guess you can edit the datestamp on photos in Facebook?  In which case the dates are meaningless.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/30/2017 03:01 AM
Note that all of those photos are from 2014-2016, not new.

Was the soil surcharge mountain really built so long ago, back in 2014?  (wanders off to check these NSF threads)  Nope, they built the mountain in April 2016.  So I don't understand the 2014 datestamps on the photos in that FB album.

The Facebook album has some pictures from December 2014 and some from April 2016.  Perhaps they mixed up some of the dates between these two groups of pictures.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 08/30/2017 04:05 AM
Note that all of those photos are from 2014-2016, not new.

Was the soil surcharge mountain really built so long ago, back in 2014?  (wanders off to check these NSF threads)  Nope, they built the mountain in April 2016.  So I don't understand the 2014 datestamps on the photos in that FB album.

The very old photos from 2014 where welcoming SpaceX from Boca Chica in 2016 some activity started on the site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/30/2017 07:57 PM
 Finished piles for the Monster of Appleton foundation. Maybe they're so heavy duty because they're just using the same tubes and cages as the big warehouses for convenience.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Helodriver on 08/30/2017 08:11 PM
Even though Hurricane Harvey itself had little effect on Boca Chica, Im wondering if the degree of flooding and depth of inundation it has demonstrated farther east will be taken into greater consideration in the development of the equally low lying barrier island launch site? Its one thing to consider 100 year storm theoreticals and something else when its visibly demonstrated nearby.

Since little has been accomplished already, the time to make adjustments to grade heights and building foundation plans is now.

I also get the feeling Boca Chica is being slow rolled intentionally as the exact nature of what is going to launch from there rocket family wise is being sorted out yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/30/2017 08:19 PM
Even though Hurricane Harvey itself had little effect on Boca Chica, Im wondering if the degree of flooding and depth of inundation it has demonstrated farther east will be taken into greater consideration in the development of the equally low lying barrier island launch site? Its one thing to consider 100 year storm theoreticals and something else when its visibly demonstrated nearby.

Since little has been accomplished already, the time to make adjustments to grade heights and building foundation plans is now.

I also get the feeling Boca Chica is being slow rolled intentionally as the exact nature of what is going to launch from there rocket family wise is being sorted out yet.
Flooding from rainfall isn't a factor that close to the beach and the storm surges for the last century have been known since the start.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 08/31/2017 01:10 AM
Even though Hurricane Harvey itself had little effect on Boca Chica, Im wondering if the degree of flooding and depth of inundation it has demonstrated farther east will be taken into greater consideration in the development of the equally low lying barrier island launch site? Its one thing to consider 100 year storm theoreticals and something else when its visibly demonstrated nearby.

Since little has been accomplished already, the time to make adjustments to grade heights and building foundation plans is now.

I also get the feeling Boca Chica is being slow rolled intentionally as the exact nature of what is going to launch from there rocket family wise is being sorted out yet.
Flooding from rainfall isn't a factor that close to the beach and the storm surges for the last century have been known since the start.
All in all the best protection against mother nature is widely geographically separated launch sites that can both launch the same hardware to the same orbits. That is not having two launch sites just out of sight of each other just in case one is destroyed/damaged by a LV blowing up on it. But also having significant geographic separation also give protection against natural disasters. This would then give SpaceX the capability to always be able to launch possibly as much as 24 - 50 times in one year on one pad if they absolutely had to. It could be a great insurance policy for SpaceX and its customers. A natural disaster hitting the Cape and causing significant damage not just to SpaceX facilities but other launcher facilities as well would not preclude SpaceX from being able to keep launching while the pads are being brought back into service.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 08/31/2017 02:51 AM
Flooding from rainfall isn't a factor that close to the beach and the storm surges for the last century have been known since the start.
Not to concern troll, but I thought storm surge height was dependent on the size of the storm, in part. (other factors include wind direction and the tide cycle (spring tide or not) as well as tides vs landfall times, IIRC(?)...) So if storms are trending bigger doesn't that mean that storm surge also would trend somewhat bigger on average?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: deruch on 08/31/2017 02:58 AM
Even though Hurricane Harvey itself had little effect on Boca Chica, Im wondering if the degree of flooding and depth of inundation it has demonstrated farther east will be taken into greater consideration in the development of the equally low lying barrier island launch site? Its one thing to consider 100 year storm theoreticals and something else when its visibly demonstrated nearby.

Since little has been accomplished already, the time to make adjustments to grade heights and building foundation plans is now.

I also get the feeling Boca Chica is being slow rolled intentionally as the exact nature of what is going to launch from there rocket family wise is being sorted out yet.
Flooding from rainfall isn't a factor that close to the beach and the storm surges for the last century have been known since the start.
All in all the best protection against mother nature is widely geographically separated launch sites that can both launch the same hardware to the same orbits. That is not having two launch sites just out of sight of each other just in case one is destroyed/damaged by a LV blowing up on it. But also having significant geographic separation also give protection against natural disasters. This would then give SpaceX the capability to always be able to launch possibly as much as 24 - 50 times in one year on one pad if they absolutely had to. It could be a great insurance policy for SpaceX and its customers. A natural disaster hitting the Cape and causing significant damage not just to SpaceX facilities but other launcher facilities as well would not preclude SpaceX from being able to keep launching while the pads are being brought back into service.

For at least some orbits anyway.  Couldn't launch Dragon to the ISS from Boca Chica (at least not with an F9).  But, besides ISS launches, SpaceX could still service the majority of their commercial customers (i.e. GTO sats) from TX.  Or vice versa from FL if Texas gets hit again after Boca Chica is operational.  Though, they are unlikely to be able to sustain an equivalent launch cadence from TX for a while, regulatory limits notwithstanding.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: spacenut on 08/31/2017 03:02 AM
I saw a map on some website today showing that some of the sub-divisions with nice homes were built in the 100 year flood plain areas around Houston.  There are maps showing the 100 year flood lines somewhere, I think from USGS service.  If fill for launch pad and vehicle assembly building is above  the flood plain, that should be ok 99% of the time. 

I saw on the weather channel that the record rain for the time frame of the storm in Houston was 48" several years ago, and this storm brought 49.25" of rain in the same time frame as the previous historical storm.  Not much difference except more people in the low lying areas.  Hopefully SpaceX will build up the area for storm surges. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 08/31/2017 12:38 PM
This video offers a quick look at Boca Chica Beach and the US/ Mexican border along the Gulf.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bsnJ4C2WQE
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JoerTex on 08/31/2017 02:45 PM
I saw a map on some website today showing that some of the sub-divisions with nice homes were built in the 100 year flood plain areas around Houston.  There are maps showing the 100 year flood lines somewhere, I think from USGS service.  If fill for launch pad and vehicle assembly building is above  the flood plain, that should be ok 99% of the time. 

I saw on the weather channel that the record rain for the time frame of the storm in Houston was 48" several years ago, and this storm brought 49.25" of rain in the same time frame as the previous historical storm.  Not much difference except more people in the low lying areas.  Hopefully SpaceX will build up the area for storm surges.

See Nomad's earlier post.  This close to the beach, the issue is the height of storm surge, not the amount or rate of rainfall.  1% flood plain isn't set in the beach area.   

The flood plain is an issue along streams and rivers where the size and characteristics of the drainage basin can put more water into the stream faster than the stream can discharge it.  The flood plain is an estimate of how far out of the normal channel the resulting flow will be.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 08/31/2017 03:48 PM
The flood plain is an issue along streams and rivers where the size and characteristics of the drainage basin can put more water into the stream faster than the stream can discharge it.  The flood plain is an estimate of how far out of the normal channel the resulting flow will be.
It seems like the Boca Chica area could be affected by river flow since it is located near the Rio Grand.  A deluge of water coming down the Rio Grand combined with a storm surge in the Gulf would tend to flood the area.  This is evident from the sediment that makes up the upper layer of soil at Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Semmel on 08/31/2017 04:18 PM
Genuine question: how do you know the sediment layer structure of Boca Chica? And how do you know how to interpret it? Can I assume you are working in this field?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/31/2017 05:51 PM
 Bedrock is 1,000 feet down here. I know that the first 4 feet is sand with +/- 4 inch layers of clay from digging in it. From looking at the dirt from 50 foot piling holes, it looks like that holds a ways down.  It's a big river delta, but with the highway cutting it in half now, the northern part is Gulf water and the southern half is river fed.
 When you look at all the huge canyons on the Rio Grande you can see where all this came from.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: bilboleo1 on 08/31/2017 06:02 PM
I saw a map on some website today showing that some of the sub-divisions with nice homes were built in the 100 year flood plain areas around Houston.  There are maps showing the 100 year flood lines somewhere, I think from USGS service.  If fill for launch pad and vehicle assembly building is above  the flood plain, that should be ok 99% of the time. 

I saw on the weather channel that the record rain for the time frame of the storm in Houston was 48" several years ago, and this storm brought 49.25" of rain in the same time frame as the previous historical storm.  Not much difference except more people in the low lying areas.  Hopefully SpaceX will build up the area for storm surges.

Your wish...
https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search?AddressQuery=boca%20chica%20texas#searchresultsanchor
link to the FEMA flood map for Boca Chica area; click on "Map Image - View/Print" to see. Note that these are really large files, both in scale (36" x 36" or something) and size (12mb not uncommon for one file). You can print small portions of the map as a pdf through the embedded  "Make a FIRMette" button on the actual map image page.
Search for your favorite low-lying area, such as Houston, at your leisure.

And a 100-year floodplain has nothing to do with 1% should be fine or not. It means that historically a rainfall/flood event large enough to inundate the designated floodplain only occurs every 100 years, on average. Current trends in storms, rainfall amounts, etc. tend to be exceeding this statistical occurrence, running more like every 30 years on average (down to every 3-5 years in some places). I'll leave it up to you to determine/argue the "why" part. The flood map for Boca Chica area has an effective date of 1992 (revised from 1979 original), the last time the flood hazards for this area were analyzed/updated. Any changes since that effective date, such as shorelines redrawn by big storms, or construction of levees and filling of the floodplain by say a launch site, will change the characteristics.

BTW Nomadd, your place (ahem...the NSF clubhouse...) is in an A8 flood zone, aka the 100-year floodplain, as determined by FEMA. Perhaps the coastal dunes cause some drainage delay and backup of rainfall/runoff? I live inland, so I only need to avoid the Ohio River and major tributaries ;D

Cheers!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 08/31/2017 06:55 PM
Genuine question: how do you know the sediment layer structure of Boca Chica? And how do you know how to interpret it? Can I assume you are working in this field?
Sorry, I was going to put a disclaimer that I'm not a soils expert, but I didn't think it was necessary.  Boca Chica is a river delta area.  It's the mouth of the Rio Grand.  I assume that's why the area is called Boca Chica, since boca means mouth in Spanish.

Nomadd had commented on the soil in the past, and I just assumed it was from sediment washed down from upstream.  Maybe I'm completely wrong, and the soil was deposited in some other way.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/31/2017 10:08 PM
 "Boca Chica" refers to a spot on the beach about a mile north of the highway that use to be an outlet for South Bay. It was the "Little mouth" compared to the main mouth of the river. It all changed once they carved the ship channel.
 They finished the foundation work on the spot the crane is stored on.
 I'm holding a vigil for my dead Mountaineer today. One of the concrete guys offered to haul it away.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: biosehnsucht on 08/31/2017 10:56 PM
I saw a map on some website today showing that some of the sub-divisions with nice homes were built in the 100 year flood plain areas around Houston.  There are maps showing the 100 year flood lines somewhere, I think from USGS service.  If fill for launch pad and vehicle assembly building is above  the flood plain, that should be ok 99% of the time. 

I saw on the weather channel that the record rain for the time frame of the storm in Houston was 48" several years ago, and this storm brought 49.25" of rain in the same time frame as the previous historical storm.  Not much difference except more people in the low lying areas.  Hopefully SpaceX will build up the area for storm surges.

Just because rainfall was only incrementally more doesn't mean flooding is too. Due to less open land to absorb the rain fall (due to development of new parking lots, etc), flooding can be far worse.

My grandparents' house has been flooded several times in the last decade, each time worse. This time, my grandfather had to sit on the dining room table with his feet in a chair until a neighbor came by in a canoe to get him. Last time, it was only a few inches of standing water. Their house has been there for close to half a century and never flooded until the last decade.

Granted, this shouldn't be an issue in Boca Chica, as there's plenty of area for rain to run off back into the Gulf, the only problem is the storm surge itself.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Wolfram66 on 08/31/2017 10:59 PM
Using the same Google maps at 50 Foot scale for both images, i superimposed on of the standard SpaceX McGregor styled buildings. as you can see the building in McGregor fits very nicely in the location on LBJ where the crane parts are stored.

any thoughts on the footprint of the building WRT foundation piers sunk so far, Nomadd?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 08/31/2017 11:57 PM
Using the same Google maps at 50 Foot scale for both images, i superimposed on of the standard SpaceX McGregor styled buildings. as you can see the building in McGregor fits very nicely in the location on LBJ where the crane parts are stored.

any thoughts on the footprint of the building WRT foundation piers sunk so far, Nomadd?
The thick part of the foundation where they're building is 130 x 45 feet. Closer to the road than your picture. You have it sitting on the pool deck.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/03/2017 10:47 PM
http://riograndeguardian.com/county-judge-spacex-to-launch-rockets-from-boca-chica-in-late-2018/

An Update from Judge Eddie Trevino

December 2018? Hmmmmm makes sense.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: georgegassaway on 09/03/2017 11:36 PM
December 2018? Hmmmmm makes sense.

December 2018? Hmmmmm....      2.5 six months away.   :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 09/03/2017 11:55 PM
I hope the December 2018 date holds, but construction needs to start soon if they're going to make that date.  I noticed in some early pictures of the construction site there were signs stating "Sea Turtle Nesting Season in Progress (March 1st-October 1st)" and "Noise Abatement Mitigations in Effect".  Maybe they're waiting till October 1 to start moving dirt around.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/04/2017 12:19 AM
I hope the December 2018 date holds, but construction needs to start soon if they're going to make that date.  I noticed in some early pictures of the construction site there were signs stating "Sea Turtle Nesting Season in Progress (March 1st-October 1st)" and "Noise Abatement Mitigations in Effect".  Maybe they're waiting till October 1 to start moving dirt around.

they'll probably start mid-October or late November.   I'm waiting to see what there gonna do with that crane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/04/2017 01:10 AM
I hope the December 2018 date holds, but construction needs to start soon if they're going to make that date.  I noticed in some early pictures of the construction site there were signs stating "Sea Turtle Nesting Season in Progress (March 1st-October 1st)" and "Noise Abatement Mitigations in Effect".  Maybe they're waiting till October 1 to start moving dirt around.

I would bet a considerable amount of money that we will begin to see concerted, rapid progress being made after LC-40 is reactivated and LC-39A modified for Falcon Heavy. Probably NET November or December at this point, which would give SpaceX ~12 months to construct a new pad.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the "repair" of LC-40 after Amos-6 was more comparable to the construction of a new pad than a simple repair job due to the sheer amount of damage done to the concrete installations and all other structures. If that's the case, 12 months from dirt to pad is at least marginally conceivable.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cppetrie on 09/04/2017 01:35 AM
I hope the December 2018 date holds, but construction needs to start soon if they're going to make that date.  I noticed in some early pictures of the construction site there were signs stating "Sea Turtle Nesting Season in Progress (March 1st-October 1st)" and "Noise Abatement Mitigations in Effect".  Maybe they're waiting till October 1 to start moving dirt around.

I would bet a considerable amount of money that we will begin to see concerted, rapid progress being made after LC-40 is reactivated and LC-39A modified for Falcon Heavy. Probably NET November or December at this point, which would give SpaceX ~12 months to construct a new pad.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the "repair" of LC-40 after Amos-6 was more comparable to the construction of a new pad than a simple repair job due to the sheer amount of damage done to the concrete installations and all other structures. If that's the case, 12 months from dirt to pad is at least marginally conceivable.
Especially if you don't have to deconstruct and remove a crap-ton* of damaged pad structure and you can't start until the investigation is far enough along to determine that GSE stuff wasn't the problem and the pad can start being worked on.

*official unit for estimating a great quantity of something in polite terms, replacing the less appropriate sh*t-ton
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/04/2017 04:45 AM
 I have a sort of schedule figured out. Your local source will be leaving for Munich 23 Sep and staying gone for two months. I always wind up in interesting places for Halloween. Last year was a giant cemetery in Santiago with 2 million residents. Before that Salem, Massachusetts. This year it looks like we'll be in Transylvania.
 I'd hate missing the crane going into action, but traveling off season is just too good compared to summer crowds.
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Semmel on 09/04/2017 05:55 AM
I have a sort of schedule figured out. Your local source will be leaving for Munich 23 Sep and staying gone for two months. I always wind up in interesting places for Halloween. Last year was a giant cemetery in Santiago with 2 million residents. Before that Salem, Massachusetts. This year it looks like we'll be in Transylvania.
 I'd hate missing the crane going into action, but traveling off season is just too good compared to summer crowds.

I think we have a good replacement with SPITexas. Thanks to you both for sharing your observations! I am looking forward to see the big crane unfold and the rest obviously too!

23rd September in Munich? Sounds like someone is going to the Oktoberfest, which is obviously positioned mid to late September. I heard the bear is thin and expensive but also lots of fun. Enjoy! :) Hope you have your hotel booked and ready.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/04/2017 06:06 AM
I have a sort of schedule figured out. Your local source will be leaving for Munich 23 Sep and staying gone for two months. I always wind up in interesting places for Halloween. Last year was a giant cemetery in Santiago with 2 million residents. Before that Salem, Massachusetts. This year it looks like we'll be in Transylvania.
 I'd hate missing the crane going into action, but traveling off season is just too good compared to summer crowds.

Alright man we got this under control when you go out on a Vaca. we will keep the discussion going  and keep a eye out on anything new out there or reported news sources on SpaceX Boca Chica activity.   
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: guckyfan on 09/04/2017 06:25 AM
I heard the bear is thin and expensive but also lots of fun. Enjoy! :)

Can not confirm. Generally the beer in Bavaria is not strong. For the Oktoberfest it tastes the same but is a lot stronger. I found out only when I left the tent and it felt as if someone had pushed into my knees from behind. My legs just would not support me any more the moment I breathed the fresh air. Took me a moment to get back up. I don't usually drink much and it showed that evening.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: woods170 on 09/04/2017 06:32 AM
http://riograndeguardian.com/county-judge-spacex-to-launch-rockets-from-boca-chica-in-late-2018/

An Update from Judge Eddie Trevino

December 2018? Hmmmmm makes sense.
If one adds-in the infamous SpaceX time-delation factor than it will be Q3 of 2019.

Don't get me wrong: I'm convinced that SpaceX will launch from Boca Chica. But IMO it won't be December of next year.

But then again, who am I to doubt the schedule set by the almighty Elon?  ::)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: guckyfan on 09/04/2017 08:28 AM
If they decide they need Boca Chica it can be operational by end of next year. If they don't see the urgency then it will likely slip into 2019. In particular if they decide they need Vandenberg upgraded to FH more urgently, it may slip a year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/04/2017 03:57 PM
If they decide they need Boca Chica it can be operational by end of next year. If they don't see the urgency then it will likely slip into 2019. In particular if they decide they need Vandenberg upgraded to FH more urgently, it may slip a year.
  I always hear that the long pole is the TEL. But they didn't take nearly as long to build the new one at 40 as they did at 39A. We'll see how good they are at it here. And a new pad might actually be faster than converting an old one.
 If they build this warehouse around the crane parts, it's going to be interesting to see how they get them out when they're finished.
 An involved person was talking to me a few days ago. He says they could build on the mound now with deep enough pilings, but the longer they wait, the cheaper and faster the construction will be. He wasn't sure what the settling over time requirement for the foundations or the weight the pilings will have to bear is he couldn't give any useful estimate.
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/04/2017 09:39 PM
If they decide they need Boca Chica it can be operational by end of next year. If they don't see the urgency then it will likely slip into 2019. In particular if they decide they need Vandenberg upgraded to FH more urgently, it may slip a year.
  I always hear that the long pole is the TEL. But they didn't take nearly as long to build the new one at 40 as they did at 39A. We'll see how good they are at it here. And a new pad might actually be faster than converting an old one.
 If they build this warehouse around the crane parts, it's going to be interesting to see how they get them out when they're finished.
 An involved person was talking to me a few days ago. He says they could build on the mound now with deep enough pilings, but the longer they wait, the cheaper and faster the construction will be. He wasn't sure what the settling over time requirement for the foundations or the weight the pilings will have to bear is he couldn't give any useful estimate.

Yea I would be suprised if the TEL is built very quickly. Becuase GSE SpaceX team from LC-39A & LC-40 are coming here.  I can understand SpaceX getting delayed, but I would think they would not allow that Becuase it will cost money. So I think they'll get going on the site very quickly. Very soon.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Wolfram66 on 09/04/2017 10:45 PM
I have a sort of schedule figured out. Your local source will be leaving for Munich 23 Sep and staying gone for two months. I always wind up in interesting places for Halloween. Last year was a giant cemetery in Santiago with 2 million residents. Before that Salem, Massachusetts. This year it looks like we'll be in Transylvania.
 I'd hate missing the crane going into action, but traveling off season is just too good compared to summer crowds.
Say hello to my extended family... if they still exist there. That's about the region my grandfather came from. Gogan-Varolea Is a mostly Hungarian region inside Romania. Kopan or Koppan is the family name. Enjoy your trip!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/05/2017 03:11 PM
Nice work. SPILife on Youtube and Facebook has a few videos of the site.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbWgoV2gxRY
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/05/2017 10:40 PM
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-four-operational-launch-pad-construction-2018/

What will hurricane Irma impact will have on Boca Chica Becuase of Florida being hit.  Pray for Florida.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/05/2017 11:46 PM
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-four-operational-launch-pad-construction-2018/

What will hurricane Irma impact will have on Boca Chica Becuase of Florida being hit.  Pray for Florida.

Definitely concerning. It should have next to no direct impact on Boca Chica. If it damages CCAFB facilities to the extent that it delays SpaceX's engineering team from switching focus to Texas, I would expect fewer than 6 months of delays for Boca Chica's activation. I'm particularly worried about the cores currently in the integration facilities at LC-40 and 39A, as well as the temporary structures at LC-40.

Of course, I have no experience or knowledge of how launch facilities in the past have dealt with damage and/or flooding caused by storms. My only yardstick is LC-40 for SpaceX, and I somehow doubt that even a Cat 5 hurricane could damage a pad as severely as an on-pad loss of vehicle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: the_other_Doug on 09/06/2017 05:58 PM
I read somewhere, though (likely here) that the buildings and structures at the Cape (both CAFS and KSC) are generally built to withstand a direct hit from a Category 3 hurricane.

Irma , at least at the moment, is not only a Cat 5 hurricane, it's what is being called "the furthest beyond Cat 5 that has ever been observed in the Atlantic basin, outside of the Caribbean and the Gulf," with wind speeds of 185 mph. Cat 5 begins at 157 mph, and the Category delineations, while defined by wind speed, are *gauged* by the amount of expected damage they can do, and it's an exponential scale.  On that scale, Irma is edging up to the never-defined Cat 6.  And Cat 5 is 500 times the damage capability as a Cat 1.  So, y'all can do the math.

If this storm stays this strong, is pulled north early in its passage through the Florida Straits and does a slow sideswipe up the east coast of Florida, I guarantee you will see general damage to *all* facilities, not just SpaceX installations, at the Cape that will impact its operations for, well, quite some time.

I imagine that would impact Boca Chica by delaying the deployment of SpaceX's launch facilities construction specialists for a time, while repairs are completed to the Florida facilities.  But there's no way to tell what kind of impact that will have until after Irma passes.  Considering how infrequent Cat 4 and above storms come through any particular area, though, and the greatly increased expense of building to try and withstand such storms, I doubt that the planned storm resistance of the Texas launch site buildings will change any.

And, to be fair, while the models all say that Irma will be pulled north, a sudden strengthening of a high pressure system out over the Atlantic could, at least in theory, cancel that northward pull, and Irma could come careening into the Gulf, just running the gap between Florida and Cuba.  The Boca Chica area just barely missed being hit badly by Harvey; it's still not completely off the hook yet on Irma, much less Jose and onwards... :(
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/06/2017 08:02 PM
I read somewhere, though (likely here) that the buildings and structures at the Cape (both CAFS and KSC) are generally built to withstand a direct hit from a Category 3 hurricane.

Irma , at least at the moment, is not only a Cat 5 hurricane, it's what is being called "the furthest beyond Cat 5 that has ever been observed in the Atlantic basin, outside of the Caribbean and the Gulf," with wind speeds of 185 mph. Cat 5 begins at 157 mph, and the Category delineations, while defined by wind speed, are *gauged* by the amount of expected damage they can do, and it's an exponential scale.  On that scale, Irma is edging up to the never-defined Cat 6.  And Cat 5 is 500 times the damage capability as a Cat 1.  So, y'all can do the math.

If this storm stays this strong, is pulled north early in its passage through the Florida Straits and does a slow sideswipe up the east coast of Florida, I guarantee you will see general damage to *all* facilities, not just SpaceX installations, at the Cape that will impact its operations for, well, quite some time.

I imagine that would impact Boca Chica by delaying the deployment of SpaceX's launch facilities construction specialists for a time, while repairs are completed to the Florida facilities.  But there's no way to tell what kind of impact that will have until after Irma passes.  Considering how infrequent Cat 4 and above storms come through any particular area, though, and the greatly increased expense of building to try and withstand such storms, I doubt that the planned storm resistance of the Texas launch site buildings will change any.

And, to be fair, while the models all say that Irma will be pulled north, a sudden strengthening of a high pressure system out over the Atlantic could, at least in theory, cancel that northward pull, and Irma could come careening into the Gulf, just running the gap between Florida and Cuba.  The Boca Chica area just barely missed being hit badly by Harvey; it's still not completely off the hook yet on Irma, much less Jose and onwards... :(

Yeah, looks to be about a 50% chance of landfall on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/heres-what-the-worlds-most-accurate-weather-model-predicts-for-irma/ (https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/heres-what-the-worlds-most-accurate-weather-model-predicts-for-irma/)

However, there is no guarantee that it will remain a Cat 5+ hurricane at the time of landfall. Current estimates, like those from the 45th Weather Wing, expect a strong Cat 4 at landfall, with winds around 130 mph. Still potentially devastating for CCAFS. Nevertheless, I am far more concerned about the potential flooding that could be caused by the storm surge. CCAFS is approximately 10 feet above sea level, and the storm surge for Cat 4 and 5 hurricanes can easily approach 12+ feet in the worst locations. I cannot imagine that immersion in salt water would be easily surmountable for many of the facilities there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Negan on 09/06/2017 08:36 PM
New reddit info  (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6yft5s/multiple_updates_per_mcgregor_engineers/) that points to Boca Chica being used for the "Mars Vehicle".
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/06/2017 10:23 PM
New reddit info  (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6yft5s/multiple_updates_per_mcgregor_engineers/) that points to Boca Chica being used for the "Mars Vehicle".

#Team Rick. Not Negan.
Anyways the engineers have said Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. 
So meaning after the SpaceX team are all done they will head to Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Negan on 09/06/2017 10:38 PM
Anyways the engineers have said Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. 
So meaning after the SpaceX team are all done they will head to Boca Chica.

Was that really new info? Thought that had been the plan for a while.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Zed_Noir on 09/06/2017 11:13 PM
I read somewhere, though (likely here) that the buildings and structures at the Cape (both CAFS and KSC) are generally built to withstand a direct hit from a Category 3 hurricane.

....


From the SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 discussion thread:
If they can't launch before the hurricane comes in, do they demate the payload and move it to a more secure building? Or do they ride it out in the 39a HIF? Can't be an easy call because the demate and transport has risks of it own...

I was thinking about this on my drive to work today.  I think if they attempt a launch on Thursday that they ride it out in the HIF.  Demate and transport may not be done quick enough to get out of the way of the storm in time.

Also an important point to consider is the staff that support the launch and range.  Those folks have homes and families to take care of too.

For what it's worth, just got off the phone with Kennedy public affairs and was told of the following in terms of what the buildings are designed to withstand. Former OPFs (where X-37B and Starliner reside) and VAB are designed to withstand 125 mph winds, equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane.  The HIF at 39A is designed to withstand 150 mph winds, the equivalent of a very strong Category 4.  In that regard, based on Kennedy public information, the HIF is safer for the payload at this point.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43088.msg1720153#msg1720153 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43088.msg1720153#msg1720153)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/07/2017 02:40 PM
Anyways the engineers have said Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. 
So meaning after the SpaceX team are all done they will head to Boca Chica.

Was that really new info? Thought that had been the plan for a while.
That Boca Chica is for the Mars vehicle IS new.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Negan on 09/07/2017 02:45 PM
Anyways the engineers have said Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. 
So meaning after the SpaceX team are all done they will head to Boca Chica.

Was that really new info? Thought that had been the plan for a while.
That Boca Chica is for the Mars vehicle IS new.

I know. That's exactly what I said with my first post and why I was perplexed by SPITexas's response.

Edit: I was just wondering what people's thoughts were on how F9 and FH will play into this.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/07/2017 03:03 PM
Anyways the engineers have said Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. 
So meaning after the SpaceX team are all done they will head to Boca Chica.

Was that really new info? Thought that had been the plan for a while.
That Boca Chica is for the Mars vehicle IS new.

In all fairness, Musk did say that "it could very well be that the first person that departs for another planet could depart from Boca Chica" in 2014. The most recent L2 info made public says nothing about Boca Chica, but does suggest that SpaceX is also considering modifying LC-39A to support both F9, FH, and ITSy.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/10/05/spacex-brownsville-spaceport/16584729/
 (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/10/05/spacex-brownsville-spaceport/16584729/)
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/07/installation-flame-deflector-sls-begins-39b/
 (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/07/installation-flame-deflector-sls-begins-39b/)

So, take that for what you will. Is SpaceX indeed pursuing two launch locations from the start for a vehicle that does not yet exist, even in prototype form? Maybe! Maybe not.

Exciting stuff, regardless ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/07/2017 03:38 PM
I know. That's exactly what I said with my first post and why I was perplexed by SPITexas's response.

Think of SPITexas as an enthusiastic fan who likes to repeat things they hear, even if everyone knows them already, and you may be less perplexed... This isn't intended to start a struggle session but maybe it will help?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/07/2017 07:01 PM
 Looks like an equipment shack for the tracking dishes. The same 1/2 ISO modified container we use to use for emergency comm suites. It just needs a 56' Wilburt pneumatic antenna mast on the back and a ku band 1.2m motorized antenna on top.
 Some tasteless person cut all the vines off the fence two weeks ago, and they've already grown back. Score one for the desert flora.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/07/2017 07:30 PM
I know. That's exactly what I said with my first post and why I was perplexed by SPITexas's response.

Think of SPITexas as an enthusiastic fan who likes to repeat things they hear, even if everyone knows them already, and you may be less perplexed... This isn't intended to start a struggle session but maybe it will help?

Exactly but didn't want to get anyone confused. There's still gonna be some speculating.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/07/2017 10:56 PM
Was that really new info? Thought that had been the plan for a while.
That Boca Chica is for the Mars vehicle IS new.
In all fairness, Musk did say that "it could very well be that the first person that departs for another planet could depart from Boca Chica" in 2014...
Right.

Actually, Musk said they would launch BFR from their private launch site in March of 2013, before SpaceX had even decided on South Texas as the location for their private launch site, when Musk was asking the Texas State Legislature what kinds of incentives they would offer SpaceX for locating there.

Starting around 1:35 into the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_iu75TFgX8&t=65s
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 09/08/2017 12:04 AM
Thanks for posting that. Watched the whole thing again.   14:50 to 15:00 was one of my favorite parts.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/08/2017 04:31 AM
I feel like y'all are missing the implication of this.

We knew BFR would probably eventually launch from Boca. We didn't know that they'd be building the Mars rocket pad down there as soon as 39a and 40 were finished. This is a big deal.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/08/2017 04:58 AM
I feel like y'all are missing the implication of this.

We knew BFR would probably eventually launch from Boca. We didn't know that they'd be building the Mars rocket pad down there as soon as 39a and 40 were finished. This is a big deal.

Yea, I didn't know they would build the BFR here at Boca Chica once it's finished. Reddit did help us here, and the video at 1:35.   There's two candidates to launch the BFR pad 39A and Musk indicated on September 27, 2016 that the ITS launch vehicle would launch from more than one site. A prime candidate for the second launch site is somewhere along the south Texas coast..
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vanoord on 09/08/2017 08:41 AM
It would be strange if the pad at Boca Chica wasn't built to accept the next SpaceX rocket (ITSy presumably), as there would be a total absence of logic in building a pad that can only launch a vehicle that is (apparently) getting towards the end of its development.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: hkultala on 09/08/2017 09:38 AM
It would be strange if the pad at Boca Chica wasn't built to accept the next SpaceX rocket (ITSy presumably), as there would be a total absence of logic in building a pad that can only launch a vehicle that is (apparently) getting towards the end of its development.

1) Development is completely different thing than use. Falcon 9 will eb used for a long time.

2) We don't know for sure that F9 development will end after block 5. It will slow down, but there might be future improvements, like reusable second stage, manufacturing updates to make it cheaper to manufacture, etc.

3) ITS is much more expensive to transport between locations than F9 because it's too big to be transported by road.
They may have to build the factory near the launch site, which might make ITS an Florida-only launcher for quite a long time.

4) Converting the Florida launch pads from F9 launch pads to ITS launch pads means they are out of use for a long time. They need additional launch pads for this time, so Boca Chica fills this role.

5) There are lots of small payloads where. F9 with reusable second stage will be cheaper to use than mini-ITS
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/08/2017 11:08 AM
I feel like y'all are missing the implication of this.

We knew BFR would probably eventually launch from Boca. We didn't know that they'd be building the Mars rocket pad down there as soon as 39a and 40 were finished. This is a big deal.

Yea, I didn't know they would build the BFR here at Boca Chica once it's finished. Reddit did help us here...

Falcon Heavy already exceeds the sound level for local residents by 2dB, but the EIS made an exception because:
1) 2dB is only slightly above the limit.
2) SpaceX said they would give hearing protection to all local residents.

BFR / ITS is a huge rocket, probably 10 times the thrust of FH, with 42 engines instead of 27.  That seems like it would be significantly louder than FH, i.e. way over the sound limit for local residents.  In addition, low frequencies from such a rocket could break windows and crack foundations.

So to launch BFR from Boca Chica, SpaceX would probably need to buy all the houses in Boca Chica Village.  So far, they've only bought houses that people have put up for sale.  We haven't heard anything about SpaceX making offers to home owners who aren't selling.

Also, if they're building a pad for BFR there right away, I'm pretty sure they would need to amend the EIS to do that.  The EIS only mentions Falcon Heavy.

The SpaceX guy from McGregor that they quoted on Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6yft5s/multiple_updates_per_mcgregor_engineers/) said something like:
Quote
"Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. However, once Boca Chica construction ramps up, the focus will be specifically on the "Mars Vehicle."

To me, that could mean that once they finish the Boca Chica launch pad, SpaceX engineers will be free to start working on the Mars Vehicle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Shanuson on 09/08/2017 11:34 AM
The SpaceX guy from McGregor that they quoted on Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6yft5s/multiple_updates_per_mcgregor_engineers/) said something like:
Quote
"Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. However, once Boca Chica construction ramps up, the focus will be specifically on the "Mars Vehicle."

To me, that could mean that once they finish the Boca Chica launch pad, SpaceX engineers will be free to start working on the Mars Vehicle.

AFAIK Not the same type of engineer. Also "Boca Chica Construction" should refer to the construction of the launchpad and not something after the construction, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/08/2017 11:41 AM
I feel like y'all are missing the implication of this.

We knew BFR would probably eventually launch from Boca. We didn't know that they'd be building the Mars rocket pad down there as soon as 39a and 40 were finished. This is a big deal.

Yea, I didn't know they would build the BFR here at Boca Chica once it's finished. Reddit did help us here...

Falcon Heavy already exceeds the sound level for local residents by 2dB, but the EIS made an exception because:
1) 2dB is only slightly above the limit.
2) SpaceX said they would give hearing protection to all local residents.

BFR / ITS is a huge rocket, probably 10 times the thrust of FH, with 42 engines instead of 27.  That seems like it would be significantly louder than FH, i.e. way over the sound limit for local residents.  In addition, low frequencies from such a rocket could break windows and crack foundations.

So to launch BFR from Boca Chica, SpaceX would probably need to buy all the houses in Boca Chica Village.  So far, they've only bought houses that people have put up for sale.  We haven't heard anything about SpaceX making offers to home owners who aren't selling.

Also, if they're building a pad for BFR there right away, I'm pretty sure they would need to amend the EIS to do that.  The EIS only mentions Falcon Heavy.

The SpaceX guy from McGregor that they quoted on Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6yft5s/multiple_updates_per_mcgregor_engineers/) said something like:
Quote
"Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. However, once Boca Chica construction ramps up, the focus will be specifically on the "Mars Vehicle."

To me, that could mean that once they finish the Boca Chica launch pad, SpaceX engineers will be free to start working on the Mars Vehicle.
Your comments ignore the fact that BFR will be the smaller 9m vehicle which will be built at Hawthorne.

Also, the EIS included suborbital tests, which is probably referring to subscale BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/08/2017 04:01 PM
The SpaceX guy from McGregor that they quoted on Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6yft5s/multiple_updates_per_mcgregor_engineers/) said something like:
Quote
"Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. However, once Boca Chica construction ramps up, the focus will be specifically on the "Mars Vehicle."

To me, that could mean that once they finish the Boca Chica launch pad, SpaceX engineers will be free to start working on the Mars Vehicle.

AFAIK Not the same type of engineer. Also "Boca Chica Construction" should refer to the construction of the launchpad and not something after the construction, right?
Would you discuss construction of a building downtown without wondering if it will be a skyscraper or a 7-11? The "something after construction" determines what the construction will be.
 I've personally heard SpaceX engineers anticipate Boca Chica being used for Methane rockets for a year and a half. But they were talking about possibilities, not firm decisions.
 I don't think me, Terry Heaton and a few winter Texans are going to be much of a factor, but DaveG is right about the EIS. They can't just start building something not in the original without going through some pretty extensive procedures. Including coming to an agreement with Mexico if it's going to be the big rocket. They'd probably have to restrict access to the river and beach south of the river because of noise levels.
 I doubt they're trying to slip a whole new class of rocket in with a line vaguely referring to suborbital tests.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/08/2017 05:08 PM
Also, the EIS included suborbital tests, which is probably referring to subscale BFR.

The EIS specifically mentions Grasshopper in connection with suborbital tests.  Remember, when the EIS was originally written, SpaceX had not yet even attempted to recover a real first stage.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/08/2017 10:30 PM
 Katia has the lowest part Boca Chica highway submerged under an epic one inch of water today. Nice bit of rain this morning too. My back yard should be about six feet tall when I get back since I built the gates one inch too narrow for Terry Heaton's lawnmower. I blame the metric system.
 In other earth shattering news, they dropped off a load of 4" electrical PVC at the dish.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/10/2017 12:55 PM
In other earth shattering news, they dropped off a load of 4" electrical PVC at the dish.

Looks like work for SpaceX commercial crew is progressing nicely.  This antenna, the new space suit, and hopefully the first Dragon2 flight in February.  All the pieces are coming together.  Good thing they had this land available in Boca Chica for the commercial crew antennas.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/10/2017 01:43 PM
My back yard should be about six feet tall when I get back since I built the gates one inch too narrow for Terry Heaton's lawnmower.

Retrofit! if SpaceX can make the FSS taller, you can make the gate wider!  Don't take the ULA approach of having a custom 1.5 inch narrower lawnmower built!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/10/2017 04:34 PM
My back yard should be about six feet tall when I get back since I built the gates one inch too narrow for Terry Heaton's lawnmower.

Retrofit! if SpaceX can make the FSS taller, you can make the gate wider!  Don't take the ULA approach of having a custom 1.5 inch narrower lawnmower built!
I figured I'd take the BO approach and spend the next 17 years working on it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: abaddon on 09/10/2017 08:34 PM
...or the SpaceX approach: practice filling it really fast, blow it up by accident.

Too soon?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: AncientU on 09/10/2017 09:58 PM
...or the SpaceX approach: practice filling it really fast, blow it up by accident.

Too soon?

Not at all. 
That was 13 launches ago -- including 10 landings and two relaunches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/10/2017 11:10 PM
In other earth shattering news, they dropped off a load of 4" electrical PVC at the dish.

Looks like work for SpaceX commercial crew is progressing nicely.  This antenna, the new space suit, and hopefully the first Dragon2 flight in February.  All the pieces are coming together.  Good thing they had this land available in Boca Chica for the commercial crew antennas.

Does the control center have to be built in order to track Dragon2.  The other flight of Dragon2 around the moon by two paid individuals will be in late 2018 probably when Boca Chica is almost complete.  Look how huge the control center is its massive. You can also see the portable there in the middle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/11/2017 02:28 AM
In other earth shattering news, they dropped off a load of 4" electrical PVC at the dish.

Looks like work for SpaceX commercial crew is progressing nicely.  This antenna, the new space suit, and hopefully the first Dragon2 flight in February.  All the pieces are coming together.  Good thing they had this land available in Boca Chica for the commercial crew antennas.

Does the control center have to be built in order to track Dragon2.  The other flight of Dragon2 around the moon by two paid individuals will be in late 2018 probably when Boca Chica is almost complete.  Look how huge the control center is its massive. You can also see the portable there in the middle.
I'm not even sure if any non company people know just how the dishes are going to track the capsules. There are about 4 different ways of doing it, but none should need that much in the way of facilities for things to get started. The STARGATE project should have some fibers lit up soon, and there are also drops at the dishes.
 Those dishes originally tracked Apollos as far as the moon by using propagation delay and Doppler, but weren't for comms farther than LEO. But with newer, more sensitive converters and receivers, there's no reason they couldn't be used for voice, video and data that far out, except for that pesky planet that would keep getting in the way as it rotated.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: S.Paulissen on 09/11/2017 03:46 AM
...or the SpaceX approach: practice filling it really fast, blow it up by accident.

Too soon?

I would call it an 'experimental lawnmower gateway reentry' where they take the lawnmower and hurl it at increasing velocity at the gate, destroying the mower each time while lamenting the wastefulness of single use lawnmowers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/12/2017 03:41 PM
Hmm

Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 3m3 minutes ago

Gwynne Shotwell of @SpaceX: Our Texas site still doing landscaping, could be avail in ~ 2 yrs; no rush given our capacity at two Fla pads.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629383476801537
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/12/2017 04:04 PM
That supports the "make sure it works for ITS" strand of speculation I think.... not rushing means more firm decisions about sizes and less rework...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/12/2017 04:21 PM
That supports the "make sure it works for ITS" strand of speculation I think.... not rushing means more firm decisions about sizes and less rework...

Yep. 2+ years is a considerable amount of time for ITS to mature and a pad to be developed. The "two pad capacity" comment also suggests that SLC-40's reactivation is imminent.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/12/2017 05:08 PM
Man no 2018 launch bit disappointing  they where very confident a launch will happen in 2018. but I fully understand that they will make the site suitable for that massive rocket reall big deal. Would love to see them launch it here first.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/12/2017 06:27 PM
Hmm

Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 3m3 minutes ago

Gwynne Shotwell of @SpaceX: Our Texas site still doing landscaping, could be avail in ~ 2 yrs; no rush given our capacity at two Fla pads.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629383476801537
Someone had claimed that folks measuring the mound said it was settling more slowly than hoped for. It was just a rumor, but it's the only "landscaping" they're doing. I would have thought it was higher priority since there are lots of things at the Florida range that can keep both pads down, scheduled or otherwise.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: docmordrid on 09/12/2017 06:40 PM
The timing, and big tower crane, smell of BFR/ITSy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: DreamyPickle on 09/12/2017 07:09 PM
The timing, and big tower crane, smell of BFR/ITSy.
Also the quote from reddit.

They might have decided that combining launch infrastructure is just not worth it. If the fuel and rocket diameter is different all you're really sharing is a hole in the ground with sprinklers.

The BFR is a clean sheet design and it would benefit from a redesign of the launch infrastructure. It would make landing on the launch pad easier if you don't have to also support an entirely different launch vehicle family.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/12/2017 08:12 PM
There was some guesswork involved, but comparing SpaceX noise numbers for FH and adjusting for power and distance, I came up with BFR noise levels at 5 miles as about 2db less that FAA limits for airliner takeoff without hearing protection, which would make it too high along the 2 1/2 mile distant border.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 09/12/2017 08:24 PM
There was some guesswork involved, but comparing SpaceX noise numbers for FH and adjusting for power and distance, I came up with BFR noise levels at 5 miles as about 2db less that FAA limits for airliner takeoff without hearing protection, which would make it too high along the 2 1/2 mile distant border.

Are there any residences in Mexico within 5 miles of the launch site? I don't see why that would be an issue if there aren't any there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Comga on 09/12/2017 08:24 PM
There was some guesswork involved, but comparing SpaceX noise numbers for FH and adjusting for power and distance, I came up with BFR noise levels at 5 miles as about 2db less that FAA limits for airliner takeoff without hearing protection, which would make it too high along the 2 1/2 mile distant border.

So what's the importance of this?
Is BFR from Boca Chica impossible because it sends unacceptable noise across an international border?
Does SpaceX have to promise to launch a Mexican astronaut around the Moon in exchange for their permission?
Do they have to negotiate episodic geographical restrictions with Mexico?
Do they build a wall and assume it solves all of the border issues?
Can they just ignore the issue for uninhabitated mud flats across the border?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: docmordrid on 09/12/2017 08:27 PM
What is the Mexican take off noise limit? Is there one? They may not give a damn.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/12/2017 08:33 PM
 I think some have mistaken this for the CNN comments section. Dangerous noise levels south of the border would obviously entail some talks with Mexican authorities. They could restrict access or put out signs and free hearing protectors.
 They're not just uninhabited mud flats. There are ranches and the beach is alway crowded.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 09/12/2017 09:01 PM
There's a big gap between "dangerous in 1-minute exposures twice a month" and "permissive for occupational exposure". Besides, the DoD allows occupational exposure up to 130 dBA, and there is no way any foreseeable LV will generate 130 dBA at 2.5 miles if FH only generates 118 dBA at 1.8 miles. Even the 2016 ITS BFR would only be around 130 dBA in Boca Chica Village, and ITSy probably more like 124 dBA.

Limits due to sound overpressures or flying debris from a RUD are likely more limiting than sound from a nominal launch. For ITSy, those will probably extend 2 to 3 miles.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/12/2017 09:09 PM
130 db is for extremely short lived sounds, like gunshots, or for longer periods when you have >15db hearing protection. I use 115 db because that's the limit for the 30 seconds or so an airliner takeoff lasts, which is in the same time range as a rocket launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/12/2017 09:47 PM
Man no 2018 launch bit disappointing  they where very confident a launch will happen in 2018. but I fully understand that they will make the site suitable for that massive rocket reall big deal. Would love to see them launch it here first.
I would dispute that they were "very confident a launch will happen in 2018".
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/12/2017 10:30 PM
Man no 2018 launch bit disappointing  they where very confident a launch will happen in 2018. but I fully understand that they will make the site suitable for that massive rocket reall big deal. Would love to see them launch it here first.
I would dispute that they were "very confident a launch will happen in 2018".
I'm not betting the farm of a tweet. That statement is pretty much the exact same thing they said 1 1/2 years ago.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/12/2017 10:36 PM
 Ditch digging day at the dish.
 In much more relevant news, my olive tree has a new security system.
 There's some sort of major work going on at the end of Kingston Rd near the ship channel. Maybe for LNG facilities or moving 40 foot wide cylindrical objects in or out. They paved the road with 8 x 12 timbers and there are hundreds of dump trucks using it. I'll have to take a ride up 48 and see what's visible from there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/12/2017 11:17 PM
There's some sort of major work going on at the end of Kingston Rd near the ship channel. Maybe for LNG facilities or moving 40 foot wide cylindrical objects in or out. They paved the road with 8 x 12 timbers and there are hundreds of dump trucks using it. I'll have to take a ride up 48 and see what's visible from there.

Didn't they say the LNG plant would be on the North side of the shipping channel?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: fthomassy on 09/12/2017 11:19 PM
Ditch digging day at the dish.
 In much more relevant news, my olive tree has a new security system.
 There's some sort of major work going on at the end of Kingston Rd near the ship channel. Maybe for LNG facilities or moving 40 foot wide cylindrical objects in or out. They paved the road with 8 x 12 timbers and there are hundreds of dump trucks using it. I'll have to take a ride up 48 and see what's visible from there.
For the record ... it was the Giant Blue Land Crab I liked  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/13/2017 12:12 AM
There's some sort of major work going on at the end of Kingston Rd near the ship channel. Maybe for LNG facilities or moving 40 foot wide cylindrical objects in or out. They paved the road with 8 x 12 timbers and there are hundreds of dump trucks using it. I'll have to take a ride up 48 and see what's visible from there.

Didn't they say the LNG plant would be on the North side of the shipping channel?
To tell the truth, I didn't notice if the trucks were carrying dirt to or from the site. I guess they could be hauling away dredge or widening the channel there. Or building a dock on that side. It'll give me an excuse to go to SPI tomorrow.
 They've been laying a +/- 36 inch pipeline down the highway between Corpus Christi and Brownsville. It seems kind of excessive for LNG or anything else I can think of.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/13/2017 01:16 AM
Miniature Hyperloop.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/13/2017 02:16 AM

Hmmm 2019? Ehhh
https://www.teslarati.com/spacexs-plan-launch-internet-satellites-face-possible-setback-recent-fcc-decision/

SpaceX recruiters revealed earlier this week that SpaceX also intends to have their Boca Chica, Texas launch pad, which is currently under construction, capable of launching ITS-sized vehicles once it comes online in late 2018 or 2019.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/13/2017 02:44 AM
Miniature Hyperloop.
You know, if they angled that Hyperloop up a mountain........
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/13/2017 03:54 AM

Hmmm 2019? Ehhh
https://www.teslarati.com/spacexs-plan-launch-internet-satellites-face-possible-setback-recent-fcc-decision/

SpaceX recruiters revealed earlier this week that SpaceX also intends to have their Boca Chica, Texas launch pad, which is currently under construction, capable of launching ITS-sized vehicles once it comes online in late 2018 or 2019.

Bad wording, my apologies. My intent was to suggest that SpaceX wants to be able to launch ITS from the pad after it is activated. Definitely didn't mean to suggest that ITS would be launching from Boca Chica in 2018 or 2019 :) Updated the phrasing a bit and removed 2018, as Shotwell's comment today negates that possibility.

Off topic: editing articles beyond spelling changes delists it from Google's search results, which is a large source of views for SpaceX stuff. It's a struggle...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/13/2017 03:58 AM

Hmmm 2019? Ehhh
https://www.teslarati.com/spacexs-plan-launch-internet-satellites-face-possible-setback-recent-fcc-decision/

SpaceX recruiters revealed earlier this week that SpaceX also intends to have their Boca Chica, Texas launch pad, which is currently under construction, capable of launching ITS-sized vehicles once it comes online in late 2018 or 2019.

Bad wording, my apologies. My intent was to suggest that SpaceX wants to be able to launch ITS from the pad after it is activated. Definitely didn't mean to suggest that ITS would be launching from Boca Chica in 2018 or 2019 :) Updated the phrasing a bit and removed 2018, as Shotwell's comment today negates that possibility.

Off topic: editing articles beyond spelling changes delists it from Google's search results, which is a large source of views for SpaceX stuff. It's a struggle...

Yea but it's just one tweet we still don't know if 2018 is out of the picture yet. When more info or sources comes up we will see and find out. If that's really what there gonna do or not the tweet seems odd like it was said a few years back.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/13/2017 04:08 AM

Hmmm 2019? Ehhh
https://www.teslarati.com/spacexs-plan-launch-internet-satellites-face-possible-setback-recent-fcc-decision/

SpaceX recruiters revealed earlier this week that SpaceX also intends to have their Boca Chica, Texas launch pad, which is currently under construction, capable of launching ITS-sized vehicles once it comes online in late 2018 or 2019.

Bad wording, my apologies. My intent was to suggest that SpaceX wants to be able to launch ITS from the pad after it is activated. Definitely didn't mean to suggest that ITS would be launching from Boca Chica in 2018 or 2019 :) Updated the phrasing a bit and removed 2018, as Shotwell's comment today negates that possibility.

Off topic: editing articles beyond spelling changes delists it from Google's search results, which is a large source of views for SpaceX stuff. It's a struggle...

Yea but it's just one tweet we still don't know if 2018 is out of the picture yet. When more info or sources comes up we will see and find out. If that's really what there gonna do or not the tweet seems odd like it was said a few years back.

If Gwynne Shotwell says Boca Chica "could be available in about two years", it's a fairly safe bet that Boca Chica pad construction will be completed NET late 2019 ;) Two pads at the Cape and one at VAFB are probably enough for SpaceX to reach a manufacturing bottleneck, unless a ton of customers choose to fly on recovered boosters.

With that context, it makes a lot of sense that Boca Chica is not a priority for the Falcon family. I'll be interested to see what Musk has to say about all this, if anything, at the IAC!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/13/2017 04:15 AM
Miniature Hyperloop.
You know, if they angled that Hyperloop up a mountain........
Stop trying to get a rise out of the mods... :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: woods170 on 09/13/2017 06:21 AM
Hmm

Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 3m3 minutes ago

Gwynne Shotwell of @SpaceX: Our Texas site still doing landscaping, could be avail in ~ 2 yrs; no rush given our capacity at two Fla pads.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629383476801537
So, I was right. https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1719103#msg1719103
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/13/2017 12:53 PM
Hmm

Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 3m3 minutes ago

Gwynne Shotwell of @SpaceX: Our Texas site still doing landscaping, could be avail in ~ 2 yrs; no rush given our capacity at two Fla pads.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629383476801537
So, I was right. https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1719103#msg1719103

I guess so 2 yrs aims to 2019 but, the question is what structure are the LC-40 and LC-39A team gonna work on first at Boca Chica the HIF or Control center.  Both maybe.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: spacenut on 09/13/2017 01:16 PM
A 36" pipeline is not excessive if it is standard natural gas not liquified.  They will probably liquify at the launch site.  Liquid natural gas is not ran in underground pipelines for very long distance.  There are 36" pipelines all over the country usually operating at 500-1000 psi pressure transporting across country.  Same will be done at the cape.  A large gas pipeline will bring in the gas from the nearest large pipeline.  Then they will liquify at the launch site or nearby the launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: billh on 09/13/2017 01:23 PM
There was some guesswork involved, but comparing SpaceX noise numbers for FH and adjusting for power and distance, I came up with BFR noise levels at 5 miles as about 2db less that FAA limits for airliner takeoff without hearing protection, which would make it too high along the 2 1/2 mile distant border.

The noise level at 5 miles is really the limiting factor because that's how far South Padre Island is, and there's no option there to buy up all the property or evacuate for each launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/13/2017 01:37 PM
A 36" pipeline is not excessive if it is standard natural gas not liquified.  They will probably liquify at the launch site.

To be clear, I've seen no plans to run a 36" natural gas pipeline to the launch site.

The 36" pipeline Nomadd mentioned is for the new LNG plant that will be ~5.4 miles from the launch site along the North side of the Brownsville shipping channel.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/15/2017 12:17 AM
 I need to get my eyes calibrated. I saw some of those pipeline sections up close today, and they're 48". The pipeline itself will be a huge buffer/storage tank, so they can draw more gas out than they put in for short periods. If the LPG facility can get the nitrogen and higher anes down to SpaceX spec they won't have to worry about a fuel source for Raptor based vehicles.
 I'm guessing that the work down the road means they're putting at least loading docks and maybe storage on the south side of the channel. That would keep bad loading events from destroying the facility and all the vehicles on the highway.
 (Sent complete with typos from Mad Dog's pub in San Antonio)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/15/2017 12:24 AM
Still bothering me, I am still disagreeing with the landscaping tweet. I'm still with 2018 or 2019.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: su27k on 09/15/2017 03:54 AM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/15/2017 04:02 AM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.
You mean nobody realized bullets could do damage before the investigation?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Req on 09/15/2017 04:07 AM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.
You mean nobody realized bullets could do damage before the investigation?

I'm thinking it's a lot less likely to get(or stage and wait) within feasible range when the pad is in the middle of CCAFS/KSC/VAFB and the 45th space wing(et al) has choppers patrolling the coastline and area in general.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/15/2017 04:27 AM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.

You talking about the SpaceX Boca Chica Facebook group right?   They sometimes follow this thread or discussion also. Since 2016.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/15/2017 04:42 AM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.
You mean nobody realized bullets could do damage before the investigation?
Texas tho.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: su27k on 09/15/2017 05:20 AM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.
You mean nobody realized bullets could do damage before the investigation?

If I had to guess: There're damage where you need to scrap and rebuild the 2nd stage, and there're damage where the launch pad is a smoking crater. I think they may not realize the damage is more likely to be the latter.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 09/15/2017 12:54 PM
Well, people shoot up aircraft fuselages being transported by train across wide open prairies and desert, so stuff DOES happen. Worse, a while back someone shot up a dozen or so very expensive, long-lead replacement time transformers in a power substation in a densely populated area, almost as if he or they knew exactly what to shoot up to cause the most damage and expense ... so yeah, there are rotten people in the world. SpaceX needs to be concerned about perimeter security out to several miles.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/15/2017 02:19 PM
Well, people shoot up aircraft fuselages being transported by train across wide open prairies and desert, so stuff DOES happen. Worse, a while back someone shot up a dozen or so very expensive, long-lead replacement time transformers in a power substation in a densely populated area, almost as if he or they knew exactly what to shoot up to cause the most damage and expense ... so yeah, there are rotten people in the world. SpaceX needs to be concerned about perimeter security out to several miles.
It's a lot harder to get away with something like that at the end of a 15 mile long road with no other way out unless you're on a boat. Sonic sensors could triangulate without even needing to be directional. Drones and tower mounted cameras will have every inch of area for 3 miles around covered. It will be easier to secure than McGregor.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JoerTex on 09/15/2017 03:04 PM
Even in Texas folks don't carry around things that shoot 2000 meters.

The risks are during transit, the truck freight.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ZachF on 09/15/2017 03:08 PM
Here is a population dot map of the Cape and Boca Chica for comparison
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 09/15/2017 03:10 PM
Here is a population dot map of the Cape and Boca Chica for comparison

Without a legend or scale it's not easy to make any comparison.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ZachF on 09/15/2017 03:14 PM
Here is a population dot map of the Cape and Boca Chica for comparison

Without a legend or scale it's not easy to make any comparison.

They're both zoomed in by the same amount, there is no scale on the map.

It's a pretty interesting map though:

https://demographics.virginia.edu/DotMap/index.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/15/2017 03:16 PM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.
Boca Chica Village is only 1-point something miles from the pad site, so there's that.  In addition, the U.S./Mexico border is only, what, 2-point-something miles from the launch pad?  Security becomes an international effort in that case, which is more complicated, etc.

 - Ed Kyle 

Boca Chica Village is where Nomadd and what, 6 other people, live? I'd worry about Nomadd, yeah[1], but that's not that many people to secure/background investigate/whatever...

1 - He just looks disreputable! Plus he's a known SpaceX fan and they are dangerous. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jimvela on 09/15/2017 03:33 PM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.
Boca Chica Village is only 1-point something miles from the pad site, so there's that.  In addition, the U.S./Mexico border is only, what, 2-point-something miles from the launch pad?  Security becomes an international effort in that case, which is more complicated, etc.

 - Ed Kyle 

Boca Chica Village is where Nomadd and what, 6 other people, live? I'd worry about Nomadd, yeah[1], but that's not that many people to secure/background investigate/whatever...

1 - He just looks disreputable! Plus he's a known SpaceX fan and they are dangerous. :)

Yeah, plus he's been known to just pick up and wander into the path of a solar eclipse, or otherwise go view something crazy like a rocket launch.

Sounds like just the kind of miscreant that someone like myself would associate with and hang out with in the back yard NSF press viewing area...

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/15/2017 04:58 PM
There's some chatter on SpaceX facebook group, it seems security may be a major concern for this site, after they did the sharpshooter test during Amos-6 investigation.
Boca Chica Village is only 1-point something miles from the pad site, so there's that.  In addition, the U.S./Mexico border is only, what, 2-point-something miles from the launch pad?  Security becomes an international effort in that case, which is more complicated, etc.

 - Ed Kyle 

Boca Chica Village is where Nomadd and what, 6 other people, live? I'd worry about Nomadd, yeah[1], but that's not that many people to secure/background investigate/whatever...

1 - He just looks disreputable! Plus he's a known SpaceX fan and they are dangerous. :)
Only 3 other people, and I'm feeling much better now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/15/2017 06:52 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SnGU6Jtxc0
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: wannamoonbase on 09/15/2017 07:27 PM
I question the value of completing the build of Boca Chica.  Existing 2 week turn around at 39A and 40 gives them capacity for 52 launches a year on the east coast. 

The market is a long way from needing that many launches.   And even then they could reduce the 2 week cycle or add another HIF faster and cheaper.

BC is currently limited to 12 launches per year, if there is a surge in flight rate, then it will have limited ability to help.

Maybe we'll learn more at IAC 2017.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 09/15/2017 07:47 PM
I question the value of completing the build of Boca Chica.  Existing 2 week turn around at 39A and 40 gives them capacity for 52 launches a year on the east coast. 

The market is a long way from needing that many launches.   And even then they could reduce the 2 week cycle or add another HIF faster and cheaper.

BC is currently limited to 12 launches per year, if there is a surge in flight rate, then it will have limited ability to help.

Maybe we'll learn more at IAC 2017.

Eastern range limits them to fewer than 50 in the next few years. Not a problem now, but by the time BC comes online they might want to exceed that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Toast on 09/15/2017 07:55 PM
I question the value of completing the build of Boca Chica.  Existing 2 week turn around at 39A and 40 gives them capacity for 52 launches a year on the east coast. 

The market is a long way from needing that many launches.   And even then they could reduce the 2 week cycle or add another HIF faster and cheaper.

BC is currently limited to 12 launches per year, if there is a surge in flight rate, then it will have limited ability to help.

Maybe we'll learn more at IAC 2017.

That leaves them at the whim of the cape though--there will be times (like this August) when the range is closed and they can't launch at all. It'd be helpful to have another option to keep up the cadence at those times. There's also the recent rumors that Boca Chica is being built to accommodate BFR launches moreso than Falcon 9 launches. That makes sense, since otherwise they'd need to convert one of their Falcon pads in Florida to make it work, which would be expensive and could cause problems if another incident shuts down one pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/15/2017 08:15 PM
Boca Chica is about building a commercial satellite launching "factory". Independent of other launch requirements/capabilities/limitations.

Unlike CCAFS/KSC/VBG. They can add/subtract "stuff" to approach "ideal conditions" for commercial launch / turn around.

It's also a remarkable "safety valve". If the worst were to happen to an over stimulated global launch market (gets oversold, consumes all launches, sits idle for awhile) and you'd need to "mothball" facilities to wait for launch, your costs to hibernate/thaw are minimal, so like keeping a small industry footprint, they can survive on the most meager margins for a "launch desert" period - then its just a vacation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ZachF on 09/15/2017 08:25 PM
I question the value of completing the build of Boca Chica.  Existing 2 week turn around at 39A and 40 gives them capacity for 52 launches a year on the east coast. 

The market is a long way from needing that many launches.   And even then they could reduce the 2 week cycle or add another HIF faster and cheaper.

BC is currently limited to 12 launches per year, if there is a surge in flight rate, then it will have limited ability to help.

Maybe we'll learn more at IAC 2017.

That leaves them at the whim of the cape though--there will be times (like this August) when the range is closed and they can't launch at all. It'd be helpful to have another option to keep up the cadence at those times. There's also the recent rumors that Boca Chica is being built to accommodate BFR launches moreso than Falcon 9 launches. That makes sense, since otherwise they'd need to convert one of their Falcon pads in Florida to make it work, which would be expensive and could cause problems if another incident shuts down one pad.

Also don't have to worry about other Launch providers "playing defense" when the Cape is busy (ie purposely structuring your schedule to mess with someone elses)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: solartear on 09/15/2017 09:13 PM
First launch from BC in 2019 is great timing. Around 2020 one of the Eastern pads might be offline for long periods to adapt for and test mini-BFR. Between their customer manifest and the constellation, the other 2 Eastern pads should be kept pretty busy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/15/2017 11:06 PM
I question the value of completing the build of Boca Chica.

I believe the main reasons SpaceX is building a private launch site are:

1) Cost. Remember, SpaceX is all about reducing launch costs.  Some people here have questioned how much they can save, if any, by launching from Boca Chica, but it's clear SpaceX believes they can.

2) Freedom.  No competition with other launch windows. Able to develop infrastructure to suit specific needs.

3) Better environment for commercial satellite customers.  See this article for more details:
    AsiaSat CEO says Cape Canaveral has its drawbacks
    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/012/140906capecanaveral/#.ViIy5n6rRhE
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Kansan52 on 09/15/2017 11:13 PM
And I believe there is a fourth.

4) Developing a site specifically to support the Mars Plan. This also is important because this launch design changes as the Mars Plan develops and changes.

Again, this is opinion.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: AncientU on 09/16/2017 12:23 AM
And maybe a fifth:

5. Keep the Cape rates low by adding a competition element to where launches are conducted and for how much in fees.  (Being able to move commercial launches away from the Cape is a card only they will have.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/16/2017 12:30 AM
And maybe a fifth:

5. Keep the Cape rates low by adding a competition element to where launches are conducted and for how much in fees.  (Being able to move commercial launches away from the Cape is a card only they will have.)

And maybe a sixth

6). SpaceX will also boost the RGV to $85 million when thousands of people will come down here and see a rocket launch every month and possibly a Mars rocket.Bringing 500 jobs along with it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/16/2017 12:33 AM
And maybe a fifth:

5. Keep the Cape rates low by adding a competition element to where launches are conducted and for how much in fees.  (Being able to move commercial launches away from the Cape is a card only they will have.)

And maybe a sixth

6). SpaceX will also boost the RGV to $85 million when thousands of people will come down here and see a rocket launch every month and possibly a Mars rocket.Bringing 500 jobs along with it.

that's a knock on effect but being popular in your community thanks to lots of money being made by everyone means it may be easier to expand your footprin/launch frequency than if everyone hates you...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/16/2017 12:25 PM
(Being able to move commercial launches away from the Cape is a card only they will have.)

Not sure what you mean here.

Besides SpaceX, who else is launching commercial satellites from the Cape?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/16/2017 12:47 PM
(Being able to move commercial launches away from the Cape is a card only they will have.)

Not sure what you mean here.

Besides SpaceX, who else is launching commercial satellites from the Cape?
Blue Origin. ULA occasionally.


But anyway, Boca Chica is being built for BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 09/16/2017 06:08 PM
In order for the flame trench/pad to handle FH it needs a rating of 6+Mlbf for FH. For a 9m ITSy it would need a rating of 12+Mlbf.

This may or may not increase the sound levels as much as 6DB. But a higher pressure engine produces more high frequency sound than lower. High frequency is attenuated more in atmosphere than lower. So a ITSy may have similar or even lower sound levels than FH.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/16/2017 07:25 PM
In order for the flame trench/pad to handle FH it needs a rating of 6+Mlbf for FH. For a 9m ITSy it would need a rating of 12+Mlbf.

This may or may not increase the sound levels as much as 6DB. But a higher pressure engine produces more high frequency sound than lower. High frequency is attenuated more in atmosphere than lower. So a ITSy may have similar or even lower sound levels than FH.
Maybe true for a single engine, but SpaceX rigs with lots of engines will make a giant accoustical mess that will be a lot harder to predict. There will be so many products from all the sources mixing together I'd be impressed if the model was a close match to the reality.
 As far as noise scaling linearly with power, 6 to 12 million should only be a 3db increase.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 09/16/2017 10:38 PM
In order for the flame trench/pad to handle FH it needs a rating of 6+Mlbf for FH. For a 9m ITSy it would need a rating of 12+Mlbf.

This may or may not increase the sound levels as much as 6DB. But a higher pressure engine produces more high frequency sound than lower. High frequency is attenuated more in atmosphere than lower. So a ITSy may have similar or even lower sound levels than FH.
Maybe true for a single engine, but SpaceX rigs with lots of engines will make a giant accoustical mess that will be a lot harder to predict. There will be so many products from all the sources mixing together I'd be impressed if the model was a close match to the reality.
 As far as noise scaling linearly with power, 6 to 12 million should only be a 3db incresse.
So Nomad your house will only rattle a little more for an ITSy than for an FH.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: groundbound on 09/17/2017 12:51 AM
In order for the flame trench/pad to handle FH it needs a rating of 6+Mlbf for FH. For a 9m ITSy it would need a rating of 12+Mlbf.

This may or may not increase the sound levels as much as 6DB. But a higher pressure engine produces more high frequency sound than lower. High frequency is attenuated more in atmosphere than lower. So a ITSy may have similar or even lower sound levels than FH.
Maybe true for a single engine, but SpaceX rigs with lots of engines will make a giant accoustical mess that will be a lot harder to predict. There will be so many products from all the sources mixing together I'd be impressed if the model was a close match to the reality.
 As far as noise scaling linearly with power, 6 to 12 million should only be a 3db incresse.

So you're saying 15mm lexan windowpanes for Casa Nomad?  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/17/2017 01:21 AM
We will all find out about the ITS or BFR whatever they call it on
September 29th. how loud and powerful it will be and where it will launch from and probably get another update about Boca Chica from the great Elon musk.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 09/17/2017 02:21 AM
In order for the flame trench/pad to handle FH it needs a rating of 6+Mlbf for FH. For a 9m ITSy it would need a rating of 12+Mlbf.

This may or may not increase the sound levels as much as 6DB. But a higher pressure engine produces more high frequency sound than lower. High frequency is attenuated more in atmosphere than lower. So a ITSy may have similar or even lower sound levels than FH.
Maybe true for a single engine, but SpaceX rigs with lots of engines will make a giant accoustical mess that will be a lot harder to predict. There will be so many products from all the sources mixing together I'd be impressed if the model was a close match to the reality.
 As far as noise scaling linearly with power, 6 to 12 million should only be a 3db incresse.

Well, 3dB may not be twice the "loudness" but it's twice the sound pressure level ... hope you have some good shutters. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/17/2017 09:38 AM
In order for the flame trench/pad to handle FH it needs a rating of 6+Mlbf for FH. For a 9m ITSy it would need a rating of 12+Mlbf.

This may or may not increase the sound levels as much as 6DB. But a higher pressure engine produces more high frequency sound than lower. High frequency is attenuated more in atmosphere than lower. So a ITSy may have similar or even lower sound levels than FH.
Maybe true for a single engine, but SpaceX rigs with lots of engines will make a giant accoustical mess that will be a lot harder to predict. There will be so many products from all the sources mixing together I'd be impressed if the model was a close match to the reality...

At the very least it would require an environmental assessment to go over this, and other issues related to BFR. This would be an amendment to the EIS, which would include a public comment period. We haven't seen this yet.

In other words, SpaceX can't just decide to launch BFR from Boca Chica without asking permission first.

The SpaceX guy from McGregor that they quoted on Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6yft5s/multiple_updates_per_mcgregor_engineers/) said something like:
Quote
"Boca Chica is currently on the back burner, and will remain so until LC-40 is back up and LC-39A upgrades are complete. However, once Boca Chica construction ramps up, the focus will be specifically on the "Mars Vehicle."

My interpretation: Once Boca Chica construction ramps up, SpaceX can start to focus more of it's technical and financial resources on the Mars Vehicle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/17/2017 02:24 PM
http://www.teslarati.com/spacexs-texas-based-mars-launch-facilities-completed-soon-2019/

Not to bad it looks like somebody was right it might be operational in early 2019 right after there slightly done in late 2018.  But that wait ain't to bad they said as soon as 2019.  It looks like Boca Chica will may be chosen for the Mars rocket.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/17/2017 10:57 PM
http://www.teslarati.com/spacexs-texas-based-mars-launch-facilities-completed-soon-2019/

Not to bad it looks like somebody was right it might be operational in early 2019 right after there slightly done in late 2018.  But that wait ain't to bad they said as soon as 2019.  It looks like Boca Chica will may be chosen for the Mars rocket.

Just so you don't get the wrong idea, was basing that claim solely off of public info :) With Shotwell's "maybe 2 years but not a priority" statement, I'd put my money closer to 2020 for Boca Chica and the first hot fire testing of ITSy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/18/2017 01:18 AM
Ship Jr?  ???

PLEASE use ITSy every chance you get, we are trying to get that term to stick :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/18/2017 02:42 AM
Ship Jr?  ???

PLEASE use ITSy every chance you get, we are trying to get that term to stick :)
I was thinking Medium instead of Big, but I guess MFR might be misinterpreted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/18/2017 04:33 AM
Ship Jr?  ???

PLEASE use ITSy every chance you get, we are trying to get that term to stick :)

In all fairness, I'm only getting all loose and wild with my naming schemes because we will have an official title in just a handful and a half of days  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: mme on 09/18/2017 05:45 AM
Ship Jr?  ???

PLEASE use ITSy every chance you get, we are trying to get that term to stick :)

In all fairness, I'm only getting all loose and wild with my naming schemes because we will have an official title in just a handful and a half of days  ;)
I would not assume we are getting an official name from the talk.  Now if Musk uses the same name for the rocket we affectionately call "ITSy" 3 times more than all other names he uses for the rocket in the talk, then that can be considered it a contender for the name SpaceX may use to reference said rocket for a while...

SpaceX ∩ "official name" = ∅

Which is why we need to be consistent.

Hopefully I'm proven wrong and it does have a name they stick with.

Edit: Opps, I meant intersection.  Thanks Semmel.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Semmel on 09/18/2017 05:54 AM
SpaceX ∪ "official name" = ∅
Tiny nit pick: make that symbol the other way around. That is a set union there ;) total agree with the intention though. SpaceX is notoriously bad at naming things.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 09/18/2017 06:04 AM
Ship Jr?  ???

PLEASE use ITSy every chance you get, we are trying to get that term to stick :)

In all fairness, I'm only getting all loose and wild with my naming schemes because we will have an official title in just a handful and a half of days  ;)
I would not assume we are getting an official name from the talk.  Now if Musk uses the same name for the rocket we affectionately call "ITSy" 3 times more than all other names he uses for the rocket in the talk, then that can be considered it a contender for the name SpaceX may use to reference said rocket for a while...

SpaceX ∪ "official name" = ∅

Which is why we need to be consistent.

Hopefully I'm proven wrong and it does have a name they stick with.

I would put a lotttt of money on some sort of replacement for the ITS name given the sheer number of times SpaceX execs have foreshadowed its death since IAC 2016. Might well just be BFR and BFS for continuity. Almost certainly not ITSy, although it may get a few mentions out of fan service :)

Edit: Getting very OT here, mods feel free to delete or move.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: ZachF on 09/18/2017 02:57 PM
Ship Jr?  ???

PLEASE use ITSy every chance you get, we are trying to get that term to stick :)

In all fairness, I'm only getting all loose and wild with my naming schemes because we will have an official title in just a handful and a half of days  ;)
I would not assume we are getting an official name from the talk.  Now if Musk uses the same name for the rocket we affectionately call "ITSy" 3 times more than all other names he uses for the rocket in the talk, then that can be considered it a contender for the name SpaceX may use to reference said rocket for a while...

SpaceX ∪ "official name" = ∅

Which is why we need to be consistent.

Hopefully I'm proven wrong and it does have a name they stick with.

I would put a lotttt of money on some sort of replacement for the ITS name given the sheer number of times SpaceX execs have foreshadowed its death since IAC 2016. Might well just be BFR and BFS for continuity. Almost certainly not ITSy, although it may get a few mentions out of fan service :)

Edit: Getting very OT here, mods feel free to delete or move.

I was surprised by the name given Elon's known hatred of acronyms.

If it were me, I would name it Phoenix 19, just to go with the original naming convention. Phoenix is a bird, it rises from it's ashes (re-usability), the number is the number of engines (with that number just being my guess).  Phoenix also gives SX's product line a little alliterative flair.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: AncientU on 09/18/2017 06:24 PM
SpaceX ∪ "official name" = ∅
Tiny nit pick: make that symbol the other way around. That is a set union there ;) total agree with the intention though. SpaceX is notoriously bad at naming things.

Wrong.

Of Course I Still Love You
Just Read The Instructions
Falcon
Merlin
Raptor
Dragon
Heart of Gold
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: darkenfast on 09/18/2017 07:37 PM
If they then decide that they can build the big rocket a little larger in diameter, would that make it the "BITSy"?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: deruch on 09/22/2017 03:33 AM
SpaceX ∪ "official name" = ∅
Tiny nit pick: make that symbol the other way around. That is a set union there ;) total agree with the intention though. SpaceX is notoriously bad at naming things.

Wrong.

Of Course I Still Love You
Just Read The Instructions
Falcon
Merlin
Raptor
Dragon
Heart of Gold
I know, right?  They used to be so much better and then sort of went off the rails starting with F9R-dev1 instead of staying with the excellent Grasshopper2.  But we digress. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/23/2017 02:04 PM
$400 million Port of Brownsville shipbuilding contract finalized
https://riograndeguardian.com/400-million-port-of-brownsville-shipbuilding-contract-finalized/
Quote
Eduardo A. Campirano, port director and CEO of the Port of Brownsville ... also gave an update about a natural gas pipeline coming into the Rio Grande Valley, liquefied natural gas terminals at the port, and SpaceX ...

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series based upon the Rio Grande Guardian’s interview with Eduardo Campirano. Part Two will be published in our next edition.

I've always suspected SpaceX would somehow take advantage of Brownsville's seaport.  Looks like we'll have to wait until the next edition of the Rio Grande Guardian to find out.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/23/2017 02:29 PM
 I thought that pipeline was kind of big for one LNG plant. It turns out one of it's main purposes is for greatly increased gas exports to Mexico in addition to other things. Even some environmentalists, who aren't the
"I'm afraid gas will get in my drinking water" types, like the fact that that every BTU made with gas is half the CO2 as the coal it replaces.
 I see a lot of those pipeline sections going down the road to the south side of the channel now.
 It would be a pretty short run to the launch site. If they include a separator to get the ethane and nitrogen and whatever in the gas down to SpaceX requirements, it will be a little bit of a hint.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/24/2017 04:03 AM
http://riograndeguardian.com/campirano-elon-musk-may-have-bigger-plans-for-boca-chica/

PART 2
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/24/2017 12:11 PM
http://riograndeguardian.com/campirano-elon-musk-may-have-bigger-plans-for-boca-chica/

PART 2

From the article:
Quote
Campirano also briefly spoke about Valley Crossing Pipeline, which will transport clean burning natural gas to the CFE—Mexico’s state-owned utility. The pipeline comes south in the Valley and then goes offshore before reaching Mexico.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 09/25/2017 01:08 AM
http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/09/will-the-first-person-to-go-to-mars-leave-from-texas-002035959.html

Given the hints.  If true this article blasted me away. Lol.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/25/2017 02:18 AM
http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/09/will-the-first-person-to-go-to-mars-leave-from-texas-002035959.html

Given the hints.  If true this article blasted me away. Lol.
I was just talking to Terry Heaton about the difficulty of ever finding another place this isolated and beautiful if we wind up getting evicted so the Methane Monster can launch. Maybe there's a possible solution here that would solve everybody's problem at once.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/25/2017 12:07 PM
According to the Cameron County Real Estate Database (http://www.cameroncad.org/cadclientdb/propertymap.aspx), SpaceX picked up 3 more lots near the Control Center Area.  I also marked the location of the Crane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meberbs on 09/26/2017 08:23 PM
http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/09/will-the-first-person-to-go-to-mars-leave-from-texas-002035959.html

Given the hints.  If true this article blasted me away. Lol.
I was just talking to Terry Heaton about the difficulty of ever finding another place this isolated and beautiful if we wind up getting evicted so the Methane Monster can launch. Maybe there's a possible solution here that would solve everybody's problem at once.
Are you saying that you'd be willing to barter your house for a ticket?  :P
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Nomadd on 09/27/2017 12:56 AM
http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/09/will-the-first-person-to-go-to-mars-leave-from-texas-002035959.html

Given the hints.  If true this article blasted me away. Lol.
I was just talking to Terry Heaton about the difficulty of ever finding another place this isolated and beautiful if we wind up getting evicted so the Methane Monster can launch. Maybe there's a possible solution here that would solve everybody's problem at once.
Are you saying that you'd be willing to barter your house for a ticket?  :P
I'd also want 100 grand equivalent in the new Martian currency.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: darkenfast on 09/29/2017 08:55 AM
Well, Nomadd, although Musk did not mention today just where the new BFR is going to launch from, I think your neighborhood is going to be VERY interesting in the next few years!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: wardy89 on 09/29/2017 03:20 PM
So in Elons talk today he said that they want to make the current falcon series of vehicles redundant with the new rocket, and he his talking about starting to fly these in the early to mid 2020's.

Its going to very interesting to watch the progress of this pad when they start to actually build it and wether it has been designed in such a way that they will be able to easily convert it without too much work to the new vehicle when it starts to fly
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jpo234 on 09/29/2017 03:34 PM
So in Elons talk today he said that they want to make the current falcon series of vehicles redundant with the new rocket, and he his talking about starting to fly these in the early to mid 2020's.

Its going to very interesting to watch the progress of this pad when they start to actually build it and wether it has been designed in such a way that they will be able to easily convert it without too much work to the new vehicle when it starts to fly

Why "convert"? Assuming Elon's time line holds (big if, I know), then they need a pad for test flights around 2020/21. If they start building in Boca Chica next year, the pad could be ready in 2019 at which point they would have to start the conversion. If Boca Chica becomes the BFR pad, than right from the start.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: wardy89 on 09/29/2017 04:03 PM
Why "convert"? Assuming Elon's time line holds (big if, I know), then they need a pad for test flights around 2020/21. If they start building in Boca Chica next year, the pad could be ready in 2019 at which point they would have to start the conversion. If Boca Chica becomes the BFR pad, than right from the start.

That is a very good point, building Boca Chica as a  dedicated BFR pad would enable them to conduct a test program away from there current commercial pads mitigating potential risks and major delays to their commercial falcon 9 launch schedule while they test the new system.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 09/29/2017 05:20 PM
More then ever... I'm convinced Texas will be BFR only as built...  :o

Would I bet money... not yet... but I am getting much closer to that point...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jfallen on 09/29/2017 05:30 PM
It looked like the plan was for a sea launch from platforms.  If the global transport idea is the focus, I imagine that will be moveable.  They might park it off Boca Chica for initial testing, but then tow it to Houston which is probably a realistic market for global travel.   Based on my interpretation of the videos I doubt they would waste time converting a pad if the goal is to launch from and return to sea platforms.    I still think Boca will be need for the 2019-2026ish transition as they try to phase out the old hardware. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: biosehnsucht on 09/29/2017 06:33 PM
Brownsville area may get BFR manufacturing too, if it's going to be dedicated to launching it. Easy to barge to anywhere else.

As for sea launch platforms - I think these are not needed for early low flight rates, but to increase flight rates and bring launch sites near to population centers where they would not normally be found (i.e. you won't need them along the Space Coast for example, but if you want to launch near New York City, there's not really any coast to put it on...)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: JBF on 09/29/2017 06:57 PM
Brownsville area may get BFR manufacturing too, if it's going to be dedicated to launching it. Easy to barge to anywhere else.

As for sea launch platforms - I think these are not needed for early low flight rates, but to increase flight rates and bring launch sites near to population centers where they would not normally be found (i.e. you won't need them along the Space Coast for example, but if you want to launch near New York City, there's not really any coast to put it on...)

According to the presentation they have started ordering tooling. There have not even been whispers of them buying large buildings or industrial land around Brownsville so at least the first several ones will probably be built at the current factory.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: mme on 09/29/2017 07:21 PM
Brownsville area may get BFR manufacturing too, if it's going to be dedicated to launching it. Easy to barge to anywhere else.

As for sea launch platforms - I think these are not needed for early low flight rates, but to increase flight rates and bring launch sites near to population centers where they would not normally be found (i.e. you won't need them along the Space Coast for example, but if you want to launch near New York City, there's not really any coast to put it on...)

According to the presentation they have started ordering tooling. There have not even been whispers of them buying large buildings or industrial land around Brownsville so at least the first several ones will probably be built at the current factory.
Yeah, He wants to use his current engineering team and he likes having manufacturing and engineering colocated.  Like you said, at least initially, I bet he's changed his mind about manufacturing at the launch site.  I bet once the design is frozen they might create new factories. Eventually they want a lot of BFRs.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/30/2017 12:14 PM
Yeah, He wants to use his current engineering team and he likes having manufacturing and engineering co-located.  Like you said, at least initially, I bet he's changed his mind about manufacturing at the launch site.

Except that its pretty much impossible to get a 9 meter rocket from Hawthorne to any sea port.

In other words, I see no cost effective way to transport BFR from Hawthorne to a launch pad.

Elon Musk has mentioned this before.  Here's a quote from 2013, before they had selected Texas as the location of their commercial launch site:
Quote
Texas Legislator:
What would be ideal is if we can have that take place, where we launch the commercial site off Boca Chica Blvd there in Brownsville.  And ideally, we don't like those 2000 jobs being in California, we need you to manufacture those rockets over here.

Elon Musk:
Actually you know that's a very important point, and I should have mentioned that, which is 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 tha maximum road transportable object, without requireing 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.

Texas Legislator:
And it needs to be at Boca Chica, so that would be great. We would love to see that happen.  Very good.  Thank you again for what you do.

The quote starts around 50 seconds into the video below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=51&v=3_iu75TFgX8
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: nacnud on 09/30/2017 12:35 PM
There was a post on this site that used the route of the Shuttle External Tank from the port to the museum and some local knowledge that showed that moving an object of that size from SpaceX to the port was feasible. I'll go looking for it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/30/2017 01:01 PM
Yes, Elon's quote was about road transport overland, not special moves to the port.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/30/2017 01:22 PM
There was a post on this site that used the route of the Shuttle External Tank from the port to the museum and some local knowledge that showed that moving an object of that size from SpaceX to the port was feasible. I'll go looking for it.

Feasible and viable are 2 different things.

Moving the shuttle tank was more like a parade, where they closed down streets and people watched it go by.  As BFR production ramps up, they would need to close down streets frequently.  I doubt local governments would have the public support to do that.

Also, BFR is 2 feet larger in diameter than the shuttle tank, and the spaceship has delta wings that make it even wider.

If SpaceX wants to keep their engineers relatively close to BFR manufacturing, the logical thing would be for them to buy manufacturing space along the L.A. seaport.  But that wouldn't be cheap.  Land, labor rates, and taxes are all high.

As I've said before, SpaceX could build BFR along the Brownsville shipping channel.  From there, they could ship it to any launch pad in the world.  There's plenty of dirt-cheap land along the seaport, and the channel is large enough to handle aircraft carriers and huge drilling rigs, so it would easily handle BFR.  Taxes are also dirt cheap.

And the cost of living in the Brownsville area is one of the lowest in the country.  For example, repeating Nomadd's post earlier in this thread (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1710374#msg1710374), here's what you can get for $230K in Brownsville:
(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43026.0;attach=1441588;image)

and here's what you can get for $700K in Hawthorne:
(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43026.0;attach=1441590;image)

Brownsville also has an international airport, due for expansion in 2019, and a state university with a budding rocket science department.  With a population of 200,000, it's no small town.  If you want night-life, South Padre Island is a hugely popular resort, and it's only 20 minutes from Brownsville.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 09/30/2017 01:38 PM
Yes and no. I see them starting in Hawthorne. I see them paying to change everything along the path, permanently, to avoid the one time wire lifts and signal moves that were needed for the ET.  Long term, I see them buying a second set of tooling, setting up somewhere else (Brownsville is an excellent candidate but not a lock), getting the line running in a plant that has room for two lines, and then once production is going full bore, moving the original tooling from Hawthorne to there to set up a second line.

But initially? Hawthorne. And probably always Hawthorne for engines. YMMV and this is a bit offtopic but yeah...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/30/2017 01:48 PM
And probably always Hawthorne for engines.

Yes, good point.

I'm assuming any BFR components that can be road-transported will continue to be built in Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, basically anything that's less than 4 meters tall.

So when we're talking about BFR manufacturing at another site, it would just be the large structures and final assembly.

And since most of the complicated stuff is less than 4 meters tall, I'd say most of the manufacturing stays in Hawthorne regardless.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: DreamyPickle on 09/30/2017 02:02 PM
Didn't Musk specifically say that 9m can be shipped from current factory? It would be reasonable to assume that he had somebody actually look into this and negotiate with the local authorities in Los Angeles.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: guckyfan on 09/30/2017 02:40 PM
Didn't Musk specifically say that 9m can be shipped from current factory? It would be reasonable to assume that he had somebody actually look into this and negotiate with the local authorities in Los Angeles.

Yes but it is complicated. Not really the right comparison to the Shuttle ET. One can reasonably assume that this was intentionally made an event. It can probably done with a lower profile. It can be done initially abut as mentioned by Lar, once production picks up they can move building the airframes to a more convenient location.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: su27k on 09/30/2017 03:35 PM
Didn't Musk specifically say that 9m can be shipped from current factory? It would be reasonable to assume that he had somebody actually look into this and negotiate with the local authorities in Los Angeles.

Yes but it is complicated. Not really the right comparison to the Shuttle ET. One can reasonably assume that this was intentionally made an event. It can probably done with a lower profile. It can be done initially abut as mentioned by Lar, once production picks up they can move building the airframes to a more convenient location.

Even at normal production rates, these wouldn't be a lot of movement per year, BFR is not F9, it's more like Shuttle Orbiter, you won't need a lot of them, and they take time to build. Each launch site probably only need one booster, and from the slides their optimistic estimate is 4 ships in 2 years, so one movement every 6 months. I can totally see they just have the Hawthorne factory to build up the fleet for the foreseeable future.

I think the Brownsville site is more suitable to become the McGregor for BFR, use the new launch pad for integrated BFR test fires, and maybe test flight of BFS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 09/30/2017 03:37 PM
Quote
If SpaceX wants to keep their engineers relatively close to BFR manufacturing, the logical thing would be for them to buy manufacturing space along the L.A. seaport.  But that wouldn't be cheap.  Land, labor rates, and taxes are all high.
I think this is what makes the most sense for the first BFR's.
It may be expensive but engineers aren't cheap either.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: billh on 09/30/2017 10:28 PM
One interesting thing to think about: will a fully reusable design for the BFR lower the expected casualty per launch rate low enough to allow a broader range of launch azimuths out of Boca Chica?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/30/2017 11:19 PM
One interesting thing to think about: will a fully reusable design for the BFR lower the expected casualty per launch rate low enough to allow a broader range of launch azimuths out of Boca Chica?

Maybe eventually, but I'm not sure how much it matters.

SpaceX is already planning dogleg flight paths out of Boca Chica.  In fact, all of the land for the launch site, control center, etc. has been purchased under the name "Dogleg Park LLC".

And with BFR, it seems they'll have more than enough power to do dogleg course corrections for commercial satellites.

For Beyond-Earth-Orbit missions, does it matter?  Is the exact launch azimuth a big deal for BEO missions?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 09/30/2017 11:44 PM
Quote
If SpaceX wants to keep their engineers relatively close to BFR manufacturing, the logical thing would be for them to buy manufacturing space along the L.A. seaport.  But that wouldn't be cheap.  Land, labor rates, and taxes are all high.
I think this is what makes the most sense for the first BFR's.
It may be expensive but engineers aren't cheap either.

Maybe they could lease space there for a couple of years.  Once things are working smoothly, they could move the manufacturing of the large structures and the final assembly to a more cost effective location.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 10/01/2017 12:38 AM
More then ever... I'm convinced Texas will be BFR only as built...  :o

Would I bet money... not yet... but I am getting much closer to that point...  ;)

Well, after 36 hours of thinking on it  and reading some of the above thoughts and postings elsewhere...
Yes... I'd put money on Texas being BFR only tooling and initial launch site for all new build BFR flight hardware...

 ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: vaporcobra on 10/01/2017 01:09 AM
It's pretty much the only possibility, unless SpaceX snuck an environmental impact assessment by us :D I'd bet a fair amount of money that Boca Chica is at least what Musk was referencing when he said "the facility is being built".

Buuuuuuuuttttttt... we know from L2 information made public by Chris B. that LC-39A is also being considered for modifications that would allow it to launch both BFR and Falcon missions, so that is also a possibility.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 10/01/2017 01:32 AM
Buuuuuuuuttttttt... we know from L2 information made public by Chris B. that LC-39A is also being considered for modifications that would allow it to launch both BFR and Falcon missions, so that is also a possibility.

I think that 39A may be the 2nd active BFR enabled launch site (dual purpose)... after Texas is up... 
After it's FH/manned F9 refit coming up... I doubt they mess with 39A much for some time...
I guess they could start on some BFR upgrade construction on a slow in between launch pace...
But nothing that will take the stand offline for months at a time... (opinion)  ;)

Still going to need more BFR pads after that though... and one for Polar launches somewhere...  ???

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Zed_Noir on 10/01/2017 02:52 AM
Buuuuuuuuttttttt... we know from L2 information made public by Chris B. that LC-39A is also being considered for modifications that would allow it to launch both BFR and Falcon missions, so that is also a possibility.

I think that 39A may be the 2nd active BFR enabled launch site (dual purpose)... after Texas is up... 
After it's FH/manned F9 refit coming up... I doubt they mess with 39A much for some time...
I guess they could start on some BFR upgrade construction on a slow in between launch pace...
But nothing that will take the stand offline for months at a time... (opinion)  ;)

Still going to need more BFR pads after that though... and one for Polar launches somewhere...  ???

Not likely there will be more launch pads for the BFR after Boca Chica and LC-39A. SpaceX will be fielding their advanced ASDS instead. You can see  the advanced ASDS with the SpaceX Earth to Earth video clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqE-ultsWt0
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 10/01/2017 07:19 AM
Buuuuuuuuttttttt... we know from L2 information made public by Chris B. that LC-39A is also being considered for modifications that would allow it to launch both BFR and Falcon missions, so that is also a possibility.

I think that 39A may be the 2nd active BFR enabled launch site (dual purpose)... after Texas is up... 
After it's FH/manned F9 refit coming up... I doubt they mess with 39A much for some time...
I guess they could start on some BFR upgrade construction on a slow in between launch pace...
But nothing that will take the stand offline for months at a time... (opinion)  ;)

Still going to need more BFR pads after that though... and one for Polar launches somewhere...  ???

Not likely there will be more launch pads for the BFR after Boca Chica and LC-39A. SpaceX will be fielding their advanced ASDS instead. You can see  the advanced ASDS with the SpaceX Earth to Earth video clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqE-ultsWt0

Honestly...  I think EM put that out to generate headlines and clicks on those news stories...
Launching and landing BFR and BFS off of floating platforms seems unlikely to me...
The system and especially the Booster landing back on the launch mount needs an unmoving ground reference.
Notice also in the video... there was no way shown for the passengers to deplane after the flight...  :P

Now... fixed platforms offshore could in theory work... and the oil industry has shown that is possible in deep water with enough $$$$...  But the logistics feeding the beast and servicing the beast... oh my...  :o

Just my opinion on this subtopic...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Semmel on 10/01/2017 12:25 PM
Buuuuuuuuttttttt... we know from L2 information made public by Chris B. that LC-39A is also being considered for modifications that would allow it to launch both BFR and Falcon missions, so that is also a possibility.

I think that 39A may be the 2nd active BFR enabled launch site (dual purpose)... after Texas is up... 
After it's FH/manned F9 refit coming up... I doubt they mess with 39A much for some time...
I guess they could start on some BFR upgrade construction on a slow in between launch pace...
But nothing that will take the stand offline for months at a time... (opinion)  ;)

Still going to need more BFR pads after that though... and one for Polar launches somewhere...  ???

I think if BFR is supposed to replace F9, they need a pad at the Cape and at Vandenberg to serve all orbits. But it makes sense to start from Boca Chica only until the rocket is proven and customers line up. Then 39A and Vandenberg can be converted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/01/2017 12:46 PM
I think it is almost a given that the place for BFR static fires will be in Boca Chica. The first flight to orbit will (probably) be 39a.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/01/2017 01:40 PM
I think it is almost a given that the place for BFR static fires will be in Boca Chica. The first flight to orbit will (probably) be 39a.

Note that the FAA has not given SpaceX permission to do BFR static fires in Boca Chica.  The current EIS (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/media/FEIS_SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Site_Vol_I.pdf) only allows up to Falcon Heavy, and even then they only allow 2 FH launches per year.

To get permission to do anything with BFR at the Boca Chica launch site, SpaceX would need to ask the FAA to amend the EIS, and that would require a public comment period, which we haven't seen yet. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: guckyfan on 10/01/2017 01:45 PM
I think thrust of the BFS, the upper stage, would be in that range and it could be done at Boca Chica. They would need to have that 2 launches with high thrust limitation removed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/01/2017 01:54 PM
Launching and landing BFR and BFS off of floating platforms seems unlikely to me...

Now... fixed platforms offshore could in theory work... and the oil industry has shown that is possible in deep water with enough $$$$...  But the logistics feeding the beast and servicing the beast... oh my...  :o

Right.  In the video, it looked more like a fixed platform to me.

But I don't think it would need to be in deep water.  Just a few miles off the coast would do it.  At that distance, they could run underwater cables and pipelines for servicing.  For example, during the D-Day invasion of WWII, they ran a flexible pipeline across the English channel that stretched 100 miles in just 1 day.

If they did something like that at Boca Chica, getting approval may be a lot easier.

It would also be a lot easier to get the BFR itself from a seaport to the launch site.  If they launch BFR from land at Boca Chica, they may need to build some type of special road from the Brownsville shipping channel that could accommodate a 30-foot diameter spaceship with delta wings that make it even wider.

So one possibility is that SpaceX would scrap the launch site at Boca Chica altogether and instead opt for a fixed platform a few miles offshore.  In that case, they would still need the Boca Chica control center area and tracking station, but the launch site itself would be re-purposed or scrapped.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 10/01/2017 02:11 PM
Let's stay focused on Boca Chica Texas launch site discussions, please. Veering off into BFR fixed pads offshore of NYC or wherever is a bit off topic.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/01/2017 02:31 PM
Veering off into BFR fixed pads offshore of NYC or wherever is a bit off topic.

I think discussing the possibility of an off-shore pad for BFR at Boca Chica is on-topic.

Elon just stated that they intend to stop using F9 and FH, and it seems like this will happen in the 2022-2024 time frame, if all goes well.

The Boca Chica launch site isn't approved for BFR.  In fact, Falcon Heavy is already 2dB over the allowed sound level for local residents of Boca Chica Village, but the EIS made an exception because:
1) There are only 2 FH launches allowed per year.
2) There are not many local residents in Boca Chica Village.
3) SpaceX offered to give hearing protection to all local residents.

We don't know the specifics of BFR, but it's fair to assume it would be a lot more than 2dB over the legal limit, potentially making approvals much harder.

And if they limit BFR to 2 launches per year like FH, that wouldn't be viable.

Also, when SpaceX originally evaluated the launch site area, it may not have been as obvious how shifty the underlying soil is.  To get a stable launch pad at the current launch site, they may have to drill footings up to 1000 feet deep to reach stable ground. That may turn out to be somewhat equivalent to building a launch platform a few miles offshore from the currently planned launch site.

So a fixed launch platform a few miles offshore from Boca Chica could solve a lot of problems.  I'm not saying this is a sure thing, but it's definitely within the realm of possibility.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: speedevil on 10/01/2017 02:52 PM

To get permission to do anything with BFR at the Boca Chica launch site, SpaceX would need to ask the FAA to amend the EIS, and that would require a public comment period, which we haven't seen yet.

Falcon heavy class thrust takeoffs with limited fuel to hop to an offshore pad would seem in principle possible for both booster and spacecraft.
This does require them to be very confident at landings, of course, as it adds several extra on per flight.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Lar on 10/01/2017 02:55 PM
Dave G: Agreed. We were veering into general BFR discussion though.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Semmel on 10/01/2017 07:25 PM
So a fixed launch platform a few miles offshore from Boca Chica could solve a lot of problems.  I'm not saying this is a sure thing, but it's definitely within the realm of possibility.

I think there is some merit behind this. What would become of the Boca Chica base if BFR cant launch from there? It probably can still provide payload processing but how do they get a payload from the land to the launcher? Would they need a private harbour?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/01/2017 07:48 PM
What would become of the Boca Chica base if BFR cant launch from there?

Maybe they could still use the launch site area to store oxygen, methane, and the water tower for the deluge system, and then pipe that out to the launch platform.  That's a total guess.

It probably can still provide payload processing but how do they get a payload from the land to the launcher?

Actually, the current plans in the EIS (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/spacex_texas_launch_site_environmental_impact_statement/media/FEIS_SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Site_Vol_I.pdf) put most of the payload processing in the control center area.  From the EIS:
"Payload Processing Facilities
The payload processing facilities would be used to conduct final processing of payloads prior to integrating them with the launch vehicle. This processing would include final spacecraft checkouts, RF checks, payload fueling, and other activities as required. The facilities would be designed to support the processing of two payloads simultaneously, to allow for a better throughput. Each building would be approximately 14,669 ft2 and 65-85 ft in height"

But if they did end up with an offshore platform, my guess is that they would move these Payload Processing Facilities to the Brownsville sea port, integrate the payload with the rocket there, and then ship it to the offshore launch platform.

Would they need a private harbour?

The area surrounding the launch site and control center is environmentally protected wetlands, so a private harbor would be extremely unlikely.

But as I've said before, the Port of Brownsville (http://www.portofbrownsville.com/) is world class, and handles aircraft carriers and huge drilling rigs, so it could handle BFR easily.

Again, all of this is total speculation on my part, but it could solve a lot of issues with FAA approvals and with getting BFR to the launch pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Semmel on 10/01/2017 08:29 PM
Any idea how we could find out if BFR can launch from Boca Chica or not? I am looking for clues here that could disprove one of the two hypotehsis:

1. BFR will launch from the Boca Chica facilities SpaceX is currently building
2. BFR will launch from a sea platform near Boca Chica

What action we can see would indicate one or the other?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Austin Dave on 10/02/2017 02:18 AM
Has anybody determined the effect that BFR would have on South Padre Island?  From what I understand the Raptor engine will have about 3 times the thrust of the Merlin engine.  If the BFR has 31 engines versus 27 in FH that works out to 3.4 times the thrust.  That will have a significant impact on Boca Chica Village and it seems like it would have some impact on SPI as well.

I'm starting to wonder if SpaceX is having second thoughts about the Boca Chica location.  Maybe the building that they are putting up around the crane parts is just intended to store the crane until they need it later on at another location.  I find it puzzling that SpaceX has not been promoting the Boca Chica site lately.

Hopefully we'll see some construction activity soon, but if nothing happens in the next year one would have to wonder what SpaceX is planning for Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 10/02/2017 02:26 AM
FH thrust is 22.8 MN at liftoff, vs 53.0 MN for BFR. Ratio of 2.3x.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 10/02/2017 03:09 AM
Has anybody determined the effect that BFR would have on South Padre Island?  From what I understand the Raptor engine will have about 3 times the thrust of the Merlin engine.  If the BFR has 31 engines versus 27 in FH that works out to 3.4 times the thrust.  That will have a significant impact on Boca Chica Village and it seems like it would have some impact on SPI as well.

I'm starting to wonder if SpaceX is having second thoughts about the Boca Chica location.  Maybe the building that they are putting up around the crane parts is just intended to store the crane until they need it later on at another location.  I find it puzzling that SpaceX has not been promoting the Boca Chica site lately.

Hopefully we'll see some construction activity soon, but if nothing happens in the next year one would have to wonder what SpaceX is planning for Boca Chica.

I totally agree with you, so if there gonna want this site to launch the BFR they need to start Contruction like now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/02/2017 12:46 PM
Has anybody determined the effect that BFR would have on South Padre Island?

South Padre Island is 5+ miles away from the launch site, so I don't think there's much of an issue there.

The main problem: Some of the local residents in Boca Chica Village live less than 2 miles from the launch site.  So if SpaceX wants to launch something a lot bigger than Falcon Heavy from the current launch site, the FAA may require them to buy up all of the 36 houses in Boca Chica Village.

Also, since it's located right next to a public beach, they're not allowed to launch on any weekends or holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Each Mars mission would require ~6 launches (1 for spaceship, and 5 for tankers to refuel in LEO).  So if a 2-year Mars window opens up during the summer, the beach closing rules may really limit things.

A launch platform a few miles offshore may solve these issues.  The Control Center and Stargate tracking station would still be in Boca Chica Village, and the current launch site may still be used to store things, but again this is all just speculation on my part.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: philw1776 on 10/02/2017 04:59 PM
Note that it's quite shallow for tens of miles out from Boca Chica.  I've been since pre 2016 announcement in the camp that says aside from possible first flights, moving offshore is a necessity for a robust, less regulation bound, BFR launch cadence, one needed for Mars and likely for the communications satellite constellation.  A platform could be anchored in shallow water off Boca much more easily than a North Sea oil platform.  Payload integration, launch control, remains as currently visualized on land at Boca.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Semmel on 10/03/2017 12:49 PM
Any idea how we could find out if BFR can launch from Boca Chica or not? I am looking for clues here that could disprove one of the two hypotehsis:

1. BFR will launch from the Boca Chica facilities SpaceX is currently building
2. BFR will launch from a sea platform near Boca Chica

What action we can see would indicate one or the other?

I want to add an other hypothesis:
3. F9 will launch from Boca Chica

Thinking about this. Sorry to quote my self but I want to find some indicators for the hypothesis. Whether Boca Chica is BFR only or mixed pad or F9 only, we probably will not know until the pad is almost finished. So thats not a good indicator. Unless all work on the pad stops, which would indicate that the launch site development is cancelled but does not indicate how BFR launches.

How would we know BFR will launch from a sea-platform?
* SpaceX buys oil rigs or even larger barges. Not sure we would see any of this even if it happens
* SpaceX hires people with oil rig experience
* SpaceX is taking up shop at the harbour with way more equipment than would be needed for F9 first stages processing

How would we know BFR launches from the launch pad?
* We see the horizontal integration facility with 9m tall and 14m wide doors.
* We see the a new environmentalism analysis for BFR sized rockets
* SpaceX asks the residents of Boca Chica kindly to agree they leave their houses during launch operations
* They try to buy all the houses for double or tripple the normal prices to compensate residents for moving away
* We see a CH4 pipeline from the new refinery to the launch complex
* We see CH4 equipment like additional CH4 liquidization, sub-cooling and storage tanks

How do we know if F9 will launch from Boca Chica?:
* There need to be RP1 equipment, not sure if that is easily identifiable though
* Helium tanks, pipes and cooling facilities. This one might be the most telling if the launch platform is dual use or BFR only if BFR launches from land. If there is helium equipment, there is F9.
* A TEL is constructed that matches the one on 39A


Are there any more ideas?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 01:51 PM
* We see the a new environmentalism analysis for BFR sized rockets

For me, this is the key.

Other decisions and approvals may be done privately, behind closed doors, and we would never know.

But any amendments to the EIS would require a public comment period well in advance of any construction, so this is the probably first way we would know for sure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 10/03/2017 01:54 PM
I would speculate 1 and then both 1 and 2 later...  ???

First pad BFR only is on land there and is the development test pad at first...
Pad has all the bells and whistles including passenger access added by the time that's needed... 

Offshore... as flight rate grows... Tanker only pads/bases are developed... several of them...

I say this because tanker flights will dominate the manifest by 2030...

Just my opinion where this is going...  ;)

On edit...
SpaceX needs a BFR type enabled pad to start testing... SOON...
Can double as the Booster static fire stand to start with also...
I could even see BFS's test hopping off that pad (w/ special mounts) and landing nearby...
(note suborbital test BFS's would have 6 SL engines and max ~800tonnes prop in this test config)

Just clarifying my thought process that led to the above statement...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/03/2017 01:54 PM
* We see the a new environmentalism analysis for BFR sized rockets

For me, this is the key.

Other decisions and approvals may be done privately, behind closed doors, and we would never know.

But any amendments to the EIS would require a public comment period well in advance of any construction, so this is the probably first way we would know for sure.
Boca Chica can support suborbital test flights under the current EIS, BTW.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/03/2017 09:29 PM
Boca Chica can support suborbital test flights under the current EIS, BTW.

Yes, but the EIS specifically mentions Grasshopper in connection with suborbital test flights.

Remember, when the EIS was originally written back in 2013, SpaceX had not yet even attempted to recover a first stage, and no plans for BFR had been released.

So I believe it's extremely unlikely that the FAA would allow SpaceX to do BFR testing at Boca Chica without amending the EIS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Req on 10/04/2017 09:27 PM
Boca Chica can support suborbital test flights under the current EIS, BTW.

Yes, but the EIS specifically mentions Grasshopper in connection with suborbital test flights.

Remember, when the EIS was originally written back in 2013, SpaceX had not yet even attempted to recover a first stage, and no plans for BFR had been released.

So I believe it's extremely unlikely that the FAA would allow SpaceX to do BFR testing at Boca Chica without amending the EIS.

I don't think most people are envisioning the booster being involved in any initial suborbital BFS testing, probably for quite some time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/05/2017 10:31 PM
Careers take the spotlight during annual Fall Career Expo in Brownsville
http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/about-utrgv/news/press-releases/2017/october-04-careers-take-the-spotlight-during-annual-fall-career-expo-in-brownsville/index.htm
(http://www.utrgv.edu/_files/images/news/2017/october-4-careers-take-the-spotlight-during-annual-fall-career-expo-in-brownsville.jpg)
Quote
Luis Mireles (at right), a UTRGV sophomore majoring in Business Administration, talks with SpaceX representatives during UTRGV’s annual Fall Career Expo about opportunities in Elon Musk’s visionary company, which currently is building a rocket launch site at Boca Chica Beach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Semmel on 10/07/2017 09:59 PM
Any idea how we could find out if BFR can launch from Boca Chica or not? I am looking for clues here that could disprove one of the two hypotehsis:

1. BFR will launch from the Boca Chica facilities SpaceX is currently building
2. BFR will launch from a sea platform near Boca Chica

What action we can see would indicate one or the other?

I want to add an other hypothesis:
3. F9 will launch from Boca Chica

Thinking about this. Sorry to quote my self but I want to find some indicators for the hypothesis. Whether Boca Chica is BFR only or mixed pad or F9 only, we probably will not know until the pad is almost finished. So thats not a good indicator. Unless all work on the pad stops, which would indicate that the launch site development is cancelled but does not indicate how BFR launches.

How would we know BFR will launch from a sea-platform?
* SpaceX buys oil rigs or even larger barges. Not sure we would see any of this even if it happens
* SpaceX hires people with oil rig experience
* SpaceX is taking up shop at the harbour with way more equipment than would be needed for F9 first stages processing

How would we know BFR launches from the launch pad?
* We see the horizontal integration facility with 9m tall and 14m wide doors.
* We see the a new environmentalism analysis for BFR sized rockets
* SpaceX asks the residents of Boca Chica kindly to agree they leave their houses during launch operations
* They try to buy all the houses for double or tripple the normal prices to compensate residents for moving away
* We see a CH4 pipeline from the new refinery to the launch complex
* We see CH4 equipment like additional CH4 liquidization, sub-cooling and storage tanks

How do we know if F9 will launch from Boca Chica?:
* There need to be RP1 equipment, not sure if that is easily identifiable though
* Helium tanks, pipes and cooling facilities. This one might be the most telling if the launch platform is dual use or BFR only if BFR launches from land. If there is helium equipment, there is F9.
* A TEL is constructed that matches the one on 39A


Are there any more ideas?

The BC TEL will be heavily similar to the majority of 39A TEL with changes.

If true, this confirms at least the existence of F9 in Boca Chica and disproves the hypothesis that the pad will be for BFR alone. Of course, plans can change but I didnt have the TEL on my list above.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: docmordrid on 10/08/2017 02:02 AM
Unless there are two different pads on the same flame trench. The BFR being closer to the exit, and a movable barrier to block off the F9/FH pads throat during BFR launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/08/2017 02:30 PM
For the property where the antenna dish sits, it looks like Cameron County re-platted 32 small lots into 1 large lot.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/12/2017 09:07 AM
Cross-posting with my emphasis (also suspect auto-correct issue - BFF clearly should be BFR):

Straight from Shotwell to me tonight. BFF is too expensive to road transport from Hawthorne to the port. New factory to be built in LA port for BFF. More production sites later near launch facilities. Texas is a definite BFF launch site.

In addition various reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/) comments from Gwynne Shotwell's talk and Q&A last night say that the Boca Chica site is now specifically for BFR.

Edit: typo correction
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 10/12/2017 01:25 PM
More then ever... I'm convinced Texas will be BFR only as built...  :o

Would I bet money... not yet... but I am getting much closer to that point...  ;)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ehhh, check again. There was a ton of very new information. Vague speculation on NSF does not equal straight-from-Shotwell info.

General sampling:
-larger Raptor currently under construction
-hope is for manufacturing facilities at all BFR launch pads
-confirmed that Boca is explicitly for BFR
-suggested that SpaceX could fund BFR and Starlink simultaneously, albeit with a bit longer timeline
-reiterated December for FH and possibly LC-40
-BFR P2P wouldn't be economical for short trips, but could be cheaper than economy flights for long trips
-fairings to be regularly reused by H2 2018
-S2 recovery will not actually attempt recovery, more just explore the orbital reentry regime
-confident that SpaceX can make carbon composite prop tanks operational, BFR could be ready before the stuff needed to live on Mars
-SpaceX will build the Martian infrastructure if they have to, would prefer other companies to start work on it
-not likely a coincidence that Musk started TBC, tunnels will be crucial until domes and terraforming on Mars

And much more.

 :o  :o  :o... (Falls off couch)...  :P  ???  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 10/12/2017 02:44 PM
If I understand correctly, the Boca Chica site will be BFR only? I guess that means they will be filing a new or amended EIS sometime?

Matthew
AFAIK, Falcon 9 will launch from Boca Chica NET later 2019

And in my opinion...
There will never be any RP-1 tank farms, or Falcon 9 GSE, HIF's, T/E's, or F9 hardware ever seen at Boca Chica for all eternity...
Yes... I am of the opinion a new EIS is in the works...
I also opine that the first BFR (the booster) static fire will be over that trench in Boca Chica on the actual Launch Mount...
Not 39a...Or anywhere else
My 2 cents on subtopic...  ;)

On edit... I am willing now to wager $$$ on this opinion with any one thinking otherwise... :)
Reference Texas launch pad thread... and suggest we take further talk of this over there...

Quoting subtopic and moving discussion on it here... JA
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meberbs on 10/12/2017 03:04 PM
And in my opinion...
There will never be any RP-1 tank farms, or Falcon 9 GSE, HIF's, T/E's, or F9 hardware ever seen at Boca Chica for all eternity...
Yes... I am of the opinion a new EIS is in the works...
I also opine that the first BFR (the booster) static fire will be over that trench in Boca Chica on the actual Launch Mount...
Not 39a...Or anywhere else
My 2 cents on subtopic...  ;)

On edit... I am willing now to wager $$$ on this opinion with any one thinking otherwise... :)
Reference Texas launch pad thread... and suggest we take further talk of this over there...

Quoting subtopic and moving discussion on it here... JA
I don't think anyone would be wise to take you up on that bet. I just saw another interview (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/) with a senior director of SpaceX. Here is the relevant quote:
Quote
You have two pads in Florida, pus Vandenberg. Is it fair to say that given what you can do from your current locations, you don’t need one in Texas?

Yes, that’s correct. We have demonstrated we can launch at least twice from each of these pads. We’re talking about being able to do at least six launches a month if we wanted to. It is not our intention to do so.

What we have manifested in customer commitments are not bottlenecked by the lack of a fourth launch site. We can manage with the three. Between upgrading our production capability, having the pads — and most importantly, the visibility — between the balance of those three we don’t foresee not being able to meet customer commitments. I am happy to take on more launch commitments right now.

6*12 = 72 launches per year. It sounds like SpaceX would consider developing Boca Chica for anything other than BFR would be a waste of money, and that does not sound like something they would do.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: hkultala on 10/12/2017 03:48 PM
6*12 = 72 launches per year. It sounds like SpaceX would consider developing Boca Chica for anything other than BFR would be a waste of money, and that does not sound like something they would do.

Cannot just calculate sum of all and use it for anything reasonable.

Vandenberg does not work for GTO or ISS launches and Florida does does not work for polar orbit launches.


If they need 28 launches/year to polar orbits, current pads are not enough.
If they need 28 (manned + heavy, iss + gto) launches/year, current pads are not enough (as SLC-40 is only F9 unmanned)


And if they start converting any of their pads from F9/FH to BFR, that pad is out of action during the conversion.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: John Alan on 10/12/2017 04:10 PM
To clarify my position on the timeline... BFR launchpads
Boca Chica will be the first... but not the last or only BFR able pad...
Next in my honest opinion... They will mod or greenfield one somewhere on the Vandenberg Range...
for Starlink launches... and other polar orbit payloads...

After that it gets much more Murky... Depends on other outside factors...
Greenfield site or sites (pl) yet TBD
Is STS mothballed at some point?... Lease and mod 39b is a possibility...
As speculated... make 39a dual use...

Just clarifying...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meberbs on 10/12/2017 04:27 PM
6*12 = 72 launches per year. It sounds like SpaceX would consider developing Boca Chica for anything other than BFR would be a waste of money, and that does not sound like something they would do.

Cannot just calculate sum of all and use it for anything reasonable.

Vandenberg does not work for GTO or ISS launches and Florida does does not work for polar orbit launches.


If they need 28 launches/year to polar orbits, current pads are not enough.
If they need 28 (manned + heavy, iss + gto) launches/year, current pads are not enough (as SLC-40 is only F9 unmanned)


And if they start converting any of their pads from F9/FH to BFR, that pad is out of action during the conversion.
I am well aware of that, the number was just to express what 6 launches per month would mean. We are talking about something approaching the current global number of annual launches. Boca Chica can't help with the polar orbits. Manned launches and Falcon Heavy launches combined is quite unlikely to reach greater than 24 per year before BFR flies, at which point demand for them should rapidly drop. By the time they need a second BFR pad, there shouldn't be a problem shutting down 39A for a while.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/12/2017 04:41 PM
I think the BFS will static fire and do suborbital flights from boca chica. BFR will do static fire and suborbital. But I think the first BFR/BFS flight will be from 39a. They need 39a to populate their com satellite orbits. boca chica has a very narrow launch azimuth. (unless they can get that changed?)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: mme on 10/12/2017 04:47 PM
I think the BFS will static fire and do suborbital flights from boca chica. BFR will do static fire and suborbital. But I think the first BFR/BFS flight will be from 39a. They need 39a to populate their com satellite orbits. boca chica has a very narrow launch azimuth. (unless they can get that changed?)
Boca Chica is now "officially" for BFR:
Ehhh, check again. There was a ton of very new information. Vague speculation on NSF does not equal straight-from-Shotwell info.

General sampling:
...
-confirmed that Boca is explicitly for BFR
...
And much more.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: nacnud on 10/12/2017 04:48 PM
Thought experiment: If the BFR is as reliable as hoped, at what point would it be allowed to over fly land? On a nominal launch it will be 100% reusable so won't drop anything intentionally. I drive under low flying A380s and 747s regularly, as do millions, but if one of those fell out of the sky things would dramatic fast. If allowed to fly over land then the need for multiple launch sites, and multiple boosters recedes. 

Thoughts?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jebbo on 10/12/2017 04:52 PM
From https://mainenginecutoff.com/blog/2017/10/shotwell-at-stanford (https://mainenginecutoff.com/blog/2017/10/shotwell-at-stanford), this seems reasonable:

Quote
And thinking about it more, Boca Chica is the perfect place to work out landings back on the launch mount. Trying to pull that initial testing off at 39A would be a non-starter as far as NASA is concerned.

--- Tony
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/12/2017 04:53 PM
Thought experiment: If the BFR is as reliable as hoped, at what point would it be allowed to over fly land? On a nominal launch it will be 100% reusable so won't drop anything intentionally. I drive under low flying A380s and 747s regularly, as do millions, but if one of those fell out of the sky things would dramatic fast. If allowed to fly over land then the need for multiple launch sites, and multiple boosters recedes. 

Thoughts?

If they allow for overflight of cuba and the yucatan they can get a wide range of azimuths. It looks like 0 deg for straight east and maybe 60 degrees for southeast.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: gongora on 10/12/2017 05:39 PM
Thought experiment: If the BFR is as reliable as hoped, at what point would it be allowed to over fly land? On a nominal launch it will be 100% reusable so won't drop anything intentionally. I drive under low flying A380s and 747s regularly, as do millions, but if one of those fell out of the sky things would dramatic fast. If allowed to fly over land then the need for multiple launch sites, and multiple boosters recedes. 

Thoughts?

There are numerous BFR threads.  They would be a more appropriate place for that thought.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jpo234 on 10/12/2017 05:55 PM
Thought experiment: If the BFR is as reliable as hoped, at what point would it be allowed to over fly land? On a nominal launch it will be 100% reusable so won't drop anything intentionally. I drive under low flying A380s and 747s regularly, as do millions, but if one of those fell out of the sky things would dramatic fast. If allowed to fly over land then the need for multiple launch sites, and multiple boosters recedes. 

Thoughts?

If they allow for overflight of cuba and the yucatan they can get a wide range of azimuths. It looks like 0 deg for straight east and maybe 60 degrees for southeast.
Would they be over the Kármán line at this point? Otherwise they would enter Cuban or Mexican air space...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: acsawdey on 10/12/2017 06:10 PM
If they allow for overflight of cuba and the yucatan they can get a wide range of azimuths. It looks like 0 deg for straight east and maybe 60 degrees for southeast.
Would they be over the Kármán line at this point? Otherwise they would enter Cuban or Mexican air space...

Doesn't this have more to do with the path traced out by the instantaneous impact point during the flight?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 10/12/2017 06:18 PM
If they allow for overflight of cuba and the yucatan they can get a wide range of azimuths. It looks like 0 deg for straight east and maybe 60 degrees for southeast.
Would they be over the Kármán line at this point? Otherwise they would enter Cuban or Mexican air space...

Doesn't this have more to do with the path traced out by the instantaneous impact point during the flight?

The upper stage would reach 100 km altitude while only 100 to 200 km from the launch site, so that's not an issue.

But yes, the issue is IIP trace, especially over populated areas.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/12/2017 07:11 PM
Doesn't every launch from the cape going east have a IIP of in europe or africa at some point in the flight?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: kaoru on 10/12/2017 07:15 PM
If they allow for overflight of cuba and the yucatan they can get a wide range of azimuths. It looks like 0 deg for straight east and maybe 60 degrees for southeast.
Would they be over the Kármán line at this point? Otherwise they would enter Cuban or Mexican air space...

Doesn't this have more to do with the path traced out by the instantaneous impact point during the flight?

The upper stage would reach 100 km altitude while only 100 to 200 km from the launch site, so that's not an issue.

But yes, the issue is IIP trace, especially over populated areas.

It makes sense to fly only BFR out of Boca Chica because the intent is to make BFR as reliable as an aircraft.  If this is achieved then flying over populated areas like Cuba (at an altitude > 100km) should be ok.  BFS won't have an AFTS/FTS system on board and BFR will safe its AFTS after meco/separation of BFS.  This means that the rule about flying over populated areas would be moot since there shouldn't be a possibly of impact (unless in an accident like aircraft today).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Jim on 10/12/2017 07:28 PM

The upper stage would reach 100 km altitude while only 100 to 200 km from the launch site, so that's not an issue.

But yes, the issue is IIP trace, especially over populated areas.

It makes sense to fly only BFR out of Boca Chica because the intent is to make BFR as reliable as an aircraft.  If this is achieved then flying over populated areas like Cuba (at an altitude > 100km) should be ok.  BFS won't have an AFTS/FTS system on board and BFR will safe its AFTS after meco/separation of BFS.  This means that the rule about flying over populated areas would be moot since there shouldn't be a possibly of impact (unless in an accident like aircraft today).

Like he said,it has nothing do with the altitude when flying over.  It has to do with the IIP trace.  And if the IIP trace has not reached the populated areas like Cuba (which the vehicle will eventually fly over) until after staging, then the BFS WILL have an AFTS/FTS system
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: kaoru on 10/12/2017 08:14 PM

The upper stage would reach 100 km altitude while only 100 to 200 km from the launch site, so that's not an issue.

But yes, the issue is IIP trace, especially over populated areas.

It makes sense to fly only BFR out of Boca Chica because the intent is to make BFR as reliable as an aircraft.  If this is achieved then flying over populated areas like Cuba (at an altitude > 100km) should be ok.  BFS won't have an AFTS/FTS system on board and BFR will safe its AFTS after meco/separation of BFS.  This means that the rule about flying over populated areas would be moot since there shouldn't be a possibly of impact (unless in an accident like aircraft today).

Like he said,it has nothing do with the altitude when flying over.  It has to do with the IIP trace.  And if the IIP trace has not reached the populated areas like Cuba (which the vehicle will eventually fly over) until after staging, then the BFS WILL have an AFTS/FTS system

Did the space shuttle have a FTS?  I don't have any specific knowledge of regarding the use of FTS on a crewed (astronauts assuming risk) vehicle with no LAS/LES but it certainly sounds like a bad idea.  Putting in a flight termination system in BFR/BFS carrying *civilian* passengers with no LES capabilities seems beyond stupid.

I understand why no LES capability is part of the BFR/BFS design (for margins and such) and "reliability" of BFR/BFS is the answer to passenger safety (in lieu of LES/LAS).  This makes sense if the reliability is proven, aka BFR/BFS is as safe as an aircraft (i.e. A380).

How I interpret things, BFS is essentially an oversized F9 S2 permanently attached to oversized CC Dragon (minus any Super Dracos/LAS) for carrying way more crew/passengers.  This makes BFS essentially the same as CC Dragon from a flight termination POV.  Current CC Dragon doesn't have a FTS system, so why should the BFS?  If a FTS is required, it'll be interesting to read the indemnity waiver for the passengers... "SpaceX is not responsible for your death if the spacecraft decides to blow itself up on the off chance it might hit an island in a large ocean"...
Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cppetrie on 10/12/2017 08:29 PM
Shuttle had FTS. Bob Cabana talked about it during the press conference when AFTS moved to primary on Falcon.

FTS is about public safety. Sure, killing the crew isn’t good. But having the rocket crash and kill many members of the public is considered worse. The general public didn’t sign up to sit on the rocket. The astronauts did.

Edit: added some additional thoughts
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 10/12/2017 08:41 PM
Doesn't every launch from the cape going east have a IIP of in europe or africa at some point in the flight?

Yes, the trace goes all the way around the world in the time it takes to raise perigee above the surface - usually about 8 minutes. Close to the launch site, it moves very slowly, but further away it's moving very quickly, so the probability of a vehicle breakup resulting in expected casualties far downrange is quite low. The IIP crosses the thousands of miles of Africa in only a few seconds.

The expected casualties number is basically a function of vehicle reliability and vehicle mass integrated over time along the population along the IIP trace. Per the FAA, the number of expected casualties has to be lower than 30x10^-6 per launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: envy887 on 10/12/2017 08:46 PM
...
How I interpret things, BFS is essentially an oversized F9 S2 permanently attached to oversized CC Dragon (minus any Super Dracos/LAS) for carrying way more crew/passengers.  This makes BFS essentially the same as CC Dragon from a flight termination POV.  Current CC Dragon doesn't have a FTS system, so why should the BFS?  If a FTS is required, it'll be interesting to read the indemnity waiver for the passengers... "SpaceX is not responsible for your death if the spacecraft decides to blow itself up on the off chance it might hit an island in a large ocean"...

The BFS will be operated autonomously and needs AFTS for those flights, for certain. If something goes wrong it's basically a 1,000 ton unmanned flying bomb.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: meberbs on 10/12/2017 09:06 PM
Doesn't every launch from the cape going east have a IIP of in europe or africa at some point in the flight?

Yes, the trace goes all the way around the world in the time it takes to raise perigee above the surface - usually about 8 minutes. Close to the launch site, it moves very slowly, but further away it's moving very quickly, so the probability of a vehicle breakup resulting in expected casualties far downrange is quite low. The IIP crosses the thousands of miles of Africa in only a few seconds.

The expected casualties number is basically a function of vehicle reliability and vehicle mass integrated over time along the population along the IIP trace. Per the FAA, the number of expected casualties has to be lower than 30x10^-6 per launch.
I figure that in addition to the rapid motion of the IIP, the probably breakup of the stage due to the near orbital speed uncontrolled reentry at that point also would help reduce the expected casualties.

I have wondered about this before though, is there a rule of thumb for how far away a land overflight has to be before these factors sufficiently reduce the expected casualty count so that overflight is reasonable?

Could BFR use a more lofted trajectory to make the IIP pass over Cuba or the Yucatan more quickly and allow these overflights? Suggesting lofted trajectory because the higher you are (longer before your ballistic arc hits the ground), the further a set amount of horizontal delta V will move your IIP.
Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: kaoru on 10/12/2017 09:17 PM
Shuttle had FTS. Bob Cabana talked about it during the press conference when AFTS moved to primary on Falcon.

FTS is about public safety. Sure, killing the crew isn’t good. But having the rocket crash and kill many members of the public is considered worse. The general public didn’t sign up to sit on the rocket. The astronauts did.

Edit: added some additional thoughts
I agree that NASA astronauts signed up...  But BFS will transport regular public (eventually) like an aircraft of which FAA ensures safety for all.  Somehow I don't think the FAA will allow the guaranteed death of a hundred passengers to *probably* save an unknown quantity of people/things on the ground.  That's why aircraft don't have FTS...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: kaoru on 10/12/2017 09:23 PM
...
How I interpret things, BFS is essentially an oversized F9 S2 permanently attached to oversized CC Dragon (minus any Super Dracos/LAS) for carrying way more crew/passengers.  This makes BFS essentially the same as CC Dragon from a flight termination POV.  Current CC Dragon doesn't have a FTS system, so why should the BFS?  If a FTS is required, it'll be interesting to read the indemnity waiver for the passengers... "SpaceX is not responsible for your death if the spacecraft decides to blow itself up on the off chance it might hit an island in a large ocean"...

The BFS will be operated autonomously and needs AFTS for those flights, for certain. If something goes wrong it's basically a 1,000 ton unmanned flying bomb.
That's an absolute given...  My comments are directed at BFS flying from Boca Chica over Cuba with civilian passengers only.  The BFR could have AFTS if BFS can use its SL Raptors as LES.  The BFS would have no AFTS obviously.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 10/12/2017 09:42 PM
Shuttle had FTS. Bob Cabana talked about it during the press conference when AFTS moved to primary on Falcon.

FTS is about public safety. Sure, killing the crew isn’t good. But having the rocket crash and kill many members of the public is considered worse. The general public didn’t sign up to sit on the rocket. The astronauts did.

Edit: added some additional thoughts
I agree that NASA astronauts signed up...  But BFS will transport regular public (eventually) like an aircraft of which FAA ensures safety for all.  Somehow I don't think the FAA will allow the guaranteed death of a hundred passengers to *probably* save an unknown quantity of people/things on the ground.  That's why aircraft don't have FTS...

How much experience do you have with how the US federal government promulgates regulations for new and emerging areas? If the answer is anything but "Lots," then I respectfully suggest you - and every other armchair amateur rocket scientist/lawyer - stick to regulations as they exist now, and technologies such as AFTS that exist now - rather than make blanket pronouncements about future PowerPoint vehicles servicing future PowerPoint economic markets that do not yet exist.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: SPITexas on 10/13/2017 01:07 AM
http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/10/spacexs-gwynne-shotwell-reveals-more-details-about-the-bfr-002085099.html

Is Texas really SpaceX first & final choice to launch the BFR. First.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: nacnud on 10/13/2017 01:37 AM
There are numerous BFR threads.  They would be a more appropriate place for that thought.

Not really, I was interested in the flight path of BFR specifically from Boca Chica as given the news from the last few days it is possible that it will be the initial launch site, this a discussion thread too. :)

It would be interesting to take a step back from FAA rules and flight termination systems and think in terms of insurers liabilities and how to mitigate risk. Then go back and see how FAA rules etc. apply.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/13/2017 02:13 AM
In addition various reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/) comments from Gwynne Shotwell's talk and Q&A last night say that the Boca Chica site is now specifically for BFR.

That's not how I read it.

The exact quote from reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/) was:
"she VERY specifically said that the Texas launch site was for the BFR. The BFR will launch from there."

Reading this, it seems it's Gwynne's statement that's specific, not the launch site.

In other words, we don't know whether Falcon 9 will launch from Boca Chica or not. We only know that that BFR will launch from there, someday, assuming they can get approval to do so.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Dave G on 10/13/2017 02:30 AM
http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/10/spacexs-gwynne-shotwell-reveals-more-details-about-the-bfr-002085099.html

Is Texas really SpaceX first & final choice to launch the BFR. First.

From the article you linked:
Quote
Shotwell did not provide any detail about how the Boca Chica spaceport would handle BFR launches and landings, whether they would be from land or, as some illustrations suggest, from an offshore platform.

Texas has plenty of firms with expertise in building offshore platforms. Launching from offshore would likely avoid the issue of beach closures that land launches have entailed.

Note that we've previously discussed the possibility of a BFR launch pad a few miles offshore from Boca Chica, starting around here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1730000#msg1730000).

An offshore pad combined with an onshore control center, tracking station, and propellant storage could make getting approvals a lot easier.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: kaoru on 10/13/2017 02:43 AM
Shuttle had FTS. Bob Cabana talked about it during the press conference when AFTS moved to primary on Falcon.

FTS is about public safety. Sure, killing the crew isn’t good. But having the rocket crash and kill many members of the public is considered worse. The general public didn’t sign up to sit on the rocket. The astronauts did.

Edit: added some additional thoughts
I agree that NASA astronauts signed up...  But BFS will transport regular public (eventually) like an aircraft of which FAA ensures safety for all.  Somehow I don't think the FAA will allow the guaranteed death of a hundred passengers to *probably* save an unknown quantity of people/things on the ground.  That's why aircraft don't have FTS...

How much experience do you have with how the US federal government promulgates regulations for new and emerging areas? If the answer is anything but "Lots," then I respectfully suggest you - and every other armchair amateur rocket scientist/lawyer - stick to regulations as they exist now, and technologies such as AFTS that exist now - rather than make blanket pronouncements about future PowerPoint vehicles servicing future PowerPoint economic markets that do not yet exist.
The discussion is about BFR/BFS launching out of Boca Chica and the requirements to do so safely.  If you want to speak about that great. However, I respectfully suggest that you don't speak about the people contributing to the discussion, good or bad.  Also, IMHO, when metal is being bent then it's not a PowerPoint project anymore.  SpaceX is building BFR/BFS now... 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: gongora on 10/13/2017 03:47 AM
There are numerous BFR threads.  They would be a more appropriate place for that thought.

Not really, I was interested in the flight path of BFR specifically from Boca Chica as given the news from the last few days it is possible that it will be the initial launch site, this a discussion thread too. :)

It would be interesting to take a step back from FAA rules and flight termination systems and think in terms of insurers liabilities and how to mitigate risk. Then go back and see how FAA rules etc. apply.

None of those things have anything to do with the Texas launch site.  We've already gotten a couple reports about this conversation being off topic for the thread, and I agree.

edit:  Specifically, BFS point to point travel and flying over land are not at all specific to the Texas launch site.  There are already other threads for discussing that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 10/13/2017 11:46 AM
Shuttle had FTS. Bob Cabana talked about it during the press conference when AFTS moved to primary on Falcon.

FTS is about public safety. Sure, killing the crew isn’t good. But having the rocket crash and kill many members of the public is considered worse. The general public didn’t sign up to sit on the rocket. The astronauts did.

Edit: added some additional thoughts
I agree that NASA astronauts signed up...  But BFS will transport regular public (eventually) like an aircraft of which FAA ensures safety for all.  Somehow I don't think the FAA will allow the guaranteed death of a hundred passengers to *probably* save an unknown quantity of people/things on the ground.  That's why aircraft don't have FTS...

How much experience do you have with how the US federal government promulgates regulations for new and emerging areas? If the answer is anything but "Lots," then I respectfully suggest you - and every other armchair amateur rocket scientist/lawyer - stick to regulations as they exist now, and technologies such as AFTS that exist now - rather than make blanket pronouncements about future PowerPoint vehicles servicing future PowerPoint economic markets that do not yet exist.
The discussion is about BFR/BFS launching out of Boca Chica and the requirements to do so safely.  If you want to speak about that great. However, I respectfully suggest that you don't speak about the people contributing to the discussion, good or bad.  Also, IMHO, when metal is being bent then it's not a PowerPoint project anymore.  SpaceX is building BFR/BFS now...
You were the one bringing up the airliner analogy and speaking authoritatively about what the FAA will or won’t do. ;)

And frankly, “bending metal” is an arbitrary and nonsensical standard. Plenty of prior aerospace programs have produced hardware that didn’t result in a flying vehicle. And in any case, there are already existing FAA regulations for launch and entry of spacecraft, complete with risk assessment requirements for people on the ground.

No need for people with no understanding of government regulatory affairs or aerospace design to posit new ones in the absence of any reason to create any.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: jfallen on 10/13/2017 11:59 AM
This has definitely gone way off topic.  And now I am going to apologize for the same.  In defense of my fellow Newb, I think it is ridiculous to think the FAA won't rewrite the policy once spacecraft start carrying more than seven people.   And I deal with the FAA regularly.

Now back on topic...

Has there been anything from SpaceX on a complete redesign for Boca Chica?  Also to someone who knows, would that require a new environmental impact survey or has the current administration successfully eliminated some of this bureaucracy?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: philw1776 on 10/13/2017 02:00 PM
http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/10/spacexs-gwynne-shotwell-reveals-more-details-about-the-bfr-002085099.html

Is Texas really SpaceX first & final choice to launch the BFR. First.

From the article you linked:
Quote
Shotwell did not provide any detail about how the Boca Chica spaceport would handle BFR launches and landings, whether they would be from land or, as some illustrations suggest, from an offshore platform.

Texas has plenty of firms with expertise in building offshore platforms. Launching from offshore would likely avoid the issue of beach closures that land launches have entailed.

Note that we've previously discussed the possibility of a BFR launch pad a few miles offshore from Boca Chica, starting around here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1730000#msg1730000).

An offshore pad combined with an onshore control center, tracking station, and propellant storage could make getting approvals a lot easier.

That was my take with the 2016 much larger ITS reveal.  Given the shallow Gulf water depth even 20 Km offshore, it seemed to be the easier regulatory, safety, noise abatement way to go.  Downside is cost, hydrofoiling everything out and back is more expensive than trucking.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: abaddon on 10/13/2017 02:23 PM
Shuttle had FTS.
The Shuttle stack had FTS, specifically each of the SRMs.  The Orbiter, as far as I know, did not?

[EDIT: Point being; the BFS is roughly comparable to Orbiter+ET; the BFR would presumably be required to have an FTS that would fire immediately after emergency separation by the BFS in an abort scenario, or after normal separation in the event of some anomaly].
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: abaddon on 10/13/2017 02:26 PM
How much experience do you have with how the US federal government promulgates regulations for new and emerging areas? If the answer is anything but "Lots," then I respectfully suggest you - and every other armchair amateur rocket scientist/lawyer - stick to regulations as they exist now, and technologies such as AFTS that exist now - rather than make blanket pronouncements about future PowerPoint vehicles servicing future PowerPoint economic markets that do not yet exist.
Wrong argument, they should stick to the proper already-existing threads that are dedicated to discussing future PowerPoint vehicles servicing future PowerPoint economic markets that do not yet exist.  Although this is now a thread dedicated to a future launch site servicing that future PowerPoint vehicle, as F9 appears to be off the table completely.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: cppetrie on 10/13/2017 04:19 PM
Shuttle had FTS.
The Shuttle stack had FTS, specifically each of the SRMs.  The Orbiter, as far as I know, did not?

[EDIT: Point being; the BFS is roughly comparable to Orbiter+ET; the BFR would presumably be required to have an FTS that would fire immediately after emergency separation by the BFS in an abort scenario, or after normal separation in the event of some anomaly].
The question was whether a launch vehicle that carried crew had an FTS that would cause LoC in the interest of public safety. The answer is yes. Shuttle did and had it been used it would have resulted in LoC. There was no LAS for shuttle to save crew prior to FTS activation. Bob Cabana said as much when talking about using AFTS on crewed vehicles in the future. He talked about showing pictures of family to the guy in the hot seat prior to STS launches. Where the actual detonators were specifically located in the stack isn’t relevant to the question that was asked.

This is all off-topic, though, and should either be moved or removed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/13/2017 04:30 PM
Long thread, wandering, needs next thread to refocus.

Everyone to thread 6 and wear your "on topic" hats:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.0