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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Mega Thread Archive Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 10/13/2017 04:39 PM

Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/13/2017 04:39 PM
Thread 6 for SpaceX's development of a Boca Chica launch site.

Previous threads.

   Thread 1 COVERAGE (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28585.0)
   Thread 2 COVERAGE (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31544.0)
   Thread 3 COVERAGE (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35425.0)   
   Thread 4 COVERAGE (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41017.0)
   Thread 5 COVERAGE (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.0)

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Only several million views for the five 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 6
Post by: rockets4life97 on 10/13/2017 04:42 PM
Is it now safe to say after Shotwell's recent comments that the big crane seen arriving at Boca Chica is for BFR?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: gongora on 10/13/2017 04:46 PM
Is it now safe to say after Shotwell's recent comments that the big crane seen arriving at Boca Chica is for BFR?

That's an expensive piece of equipment to leave sitting around for a few years while the launch vehicle is developed.  I suspect it may have some role in construction of the launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 10/13/2017 04:49 PM
Is it now safe to say after Shotwell's recent comments that the big crane seen arriving at Boca Chica is for BFR?

That's an expensive piece of equipment to leave sitting around for a few years while the launch vehicle is developed.  I suspect it may have some role in construction of the launch site.

The two uses are not mutually exclusive.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/13/2017 05:16 PM
Is it now safe to say after Shotwell's recent comments that the big crane seen arriving at Boca Chica is for BFR?

That's an expensive piece of equipment to leave sitting around for a few years while the launch vehicle is developed.  I suspect it may have some role in construction of the launch site.

The two uses are not mutually exclusive.
Does anybody have an idea of the size of a BFR pad? That crane would be a good construction crane for a 150 foot radius pad and the beam could 2nd life as a gantry crane with a 500 ton capacity after that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/13/2017 06:24 PM
That's an expensive piece of equipment to leave sitting around for a few years while the launch vehicle is developed.  I suspect it may have some role in construction of the launch site.

Right.  First BFR launch appears to be no earlier than 2022, 5 years from now, and that will probably slip.

But the question remains:
Will they launch BFR from land, or from a platform a few miles offshore from Boca Chica beach?

Remember, Texas State law forbids SpaceX from closing Boca Chica Beach on any weekend or holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  That's not going to change.

Also remember that each BFR Mars mission will require 6 launches: 1 for the spacecraft, and 5 more tanker launches to fuel the spacecraft.  And since BFR is highly reusable, SpaceX will presumably want to launch several spacecraft within each Mars launch window, which is only a few weeks every 2 years.  So we're talking dozens of launches within a relatively short period of time.

With this in mind, the Texas State beach closure law would really limit SpaceX's goals for colonizing Mars.

If they built a BFR launch pad just a few miles offshore, beach closures become a non-issue, but they would still need the control center and tracking station in Boca Chica Village, and they would probably also need a place next to the beach to store propellant, with fiber, hoses, etc. running out to the launch pad.  So the crane could be to build the control center building, payload processing buildings, water tower, etc.



Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 10/13/2017 07:08 PM
That's an expensive piece of equipment to leave sitting around for a few years while the launch vehicle is developed.  I suspect it may have some role in construction of the launch site.

Right.  First BFR launch appears to be no earlier than 2022, 5 years from now, and that will probably slip.
...

Elon's goal is landings in 2022, which means launches in 2020 or 2021. That will definitely slip, but they might launch by 2022.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/13/2017 09:30 PM
I can't really see Boca Chica being the primary plan for BFR.  With it's latest downsizing, it's now within the size and thrust design of the KSC pads.  Plus that area is already zoned for large rocket launches, and has an adequate exclusions zone, already has a lot of facilities and infrastructure, has a barge dock, already has a lot of SpaceX personnel based there, etc. etc.

A bit of speculation.  I think the plan is to get something up on pad 39A and launched as fast as possible, which will likely be the event that pushes SLS into cancellation, and a NASA-SpaceX Partnership to get NASA astronauts to the moon and later to Mars.  At which time pad 39B and most KSC facilities should become available for lease.  With the newly downsized BFR, this should all work real good for SpaceX, which would then probably move Falcon launches off 39A as soon as they are able, and be able to launch off both 39A and 39B to support their desired flight rate.

But...they aren't quite ready to call out SLS and put the hard press on it just yet.  So by talking BFR from Boca Chica, that sort of avoids the issue for a little while.  And since they haven't started construction there yet, I would guess they are waiting to see if that primary plan shakes out or not.  If so, they may just build it up for Falcon to help get Falcon off of 39A.  If things don't shake out as planned, they can then fall back on trying to use it for BFR.   So they are waiting to see which way they'll have to go before they start building anything.

There just seems to be a lot issues with launching it form Boca Chica that aren't at KSC, so unless there's just a big piece of the picture I'm not seeing, I can't see them primarily wanting to have BFR operations there when KSC so already so much better set up for it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 10/13/2017 09:56 PM
I can't really see Boca Chica being the primary plan for BFR.  With it's latest downsizing, it's now within the size and thrust design of the KSC pads.  Plus that area is already zoned for large rocket launches, and has an adequate exclusions zone, already has a lot of facilities and infrastructure, has a barge dock, already has a lot of SpaceX personnel based there, etc. etc.

My impression is that SpaceX might have wanted to share LC-39B but NASA might not be willing, citing risks for the pad and SLS.

SpaceX might have wanted to modify LC-39A but NASA does not agree to risk the pad that will fly Astronauts to the ISS.

So Boca Chica is next in line. But may fall through due to launch restrictions or lengthy new EIS. They may be able to do some suborbital tests with reduced engine counts.

I see them ending up with building the floating launch platform, because they have no other choice.

Things may change if and when the Airforce selects BFR as one competitor for EELV 2.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: freddo411 on 10/13/2017 09:59 PM
That's an expensive piece of equipment to leave sitting around for a few years while the launch vehicle is developed.  I suspect it may have some role in construction of the launch site.

Right.  First BFR launch appears to be no earlier than 2022, 5 years from now, and that will probably slip.

But the question remains:
Will they launch BFR from land, or from a platform a few miles offshore from Boca Chica beach?

Remember, Texas State law forbids SpaceX from closing Boca Chica Beach on any weekend or holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  That's not going to change.

Also remember that each BFR Mars mission will require 6 launches: 1 for the spacecraft, and 5 more tanker launches to fuel the spacecraft.  And since BFR is highly reusable, SpaceX will presumably want to launch several spacecraft within each Mars launch window, which is only a few weeks every 2 years.  So we're talking dozens of launches within a relatively short period of time.

With this in mind, the Texas State beach closure law would really limit SpaceX's goals for colonizing Mars.

If they built a BFR launch pad just a few miles offshore, beach closures become a non-issue, but they would still need the control center and tracking station in Boca Chica Village, and they would probably also need a place next to the beach to store propellant, with fiber, hoses, etc. running out to the launch pad.  So the crane could be to build the control center building, payload processing buildings, water tower, etc.


Actually, the law doesn't say that.  It says:

(d)  The commissioners court may not close a beach or access
    points to the beach on a primary launch date consisting of any of
    the following days without the approval of the land office:
                 (1)  the Saturday or Sunday preceding Memorial Day;
                 (2)  Memorial Day;
                 (3)  July 4;
                 (4)  Labor Day; or
                 (5)  a Saturday or Sunday that is after Memorial Day but
    before Labor Day.

Which is ALMOST a ban, but not exactly a ban.   I don't doubt that it would be way easier to plan around these days, rather than engage the Land office, but the option is there.


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 10/13/2017 10:00 PM
Hopping in here, is it confirmed that BFR isn't launching from 39A and only Boca?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 10/13/2017 11:26 PM
I can't really see Boca Chica being the primary plan for BFR.  With it's latest downsizing, it's now within the size and thrust design of the KSC pads.  Plus that area is already zoned for large rocket launches, and has an adequate exclusions zone, already has a lot of facilities and infrastructure, has a barge dock, already has a lot of SpaceX personnel based there, etc. etc.

A bit of speculation.  I think the plan is to get something up on pad 39A and launched as fast as possible, which will likely be the event that pushes SLS into cancellation, and a NASA-SpaceX Partnership to get NASA astronauts to the moon and later to Mars.  At which time pad 39B and most KSC facilities should become available for lease.  With the newly downsized BFR, this should all work real good for SpaceX, which would then probably move Falcon launches off 39A as soon as they are able, and be able to launch off both 39A and 39B to support their desired flight rate.

But...they aren't quite ready to call out SLS and put the hard press on it just yet.  So by talking BFR from Boca Chica, that sort of avoids the issue for a little while.  And since they haven't started construction there yet, I would guess they are waiting to see if that primary plan shakes out or not.  If so, they may just build it up for Falcon to help get Falcon off of 39A.  If things don't shake out as planned, they can then fall back on trying to use it for BFR.   So they are waiting to see which way they'll have to go before they start building anything.

There just seems to be a lot issues with launching it form Boca Chica that aren't at KSC, so unless there's just a big piece of the picture I'm not seeing, I can't see them primarily wanting to have BFR operations there when KSC so already so much better set up for it.

Boca Chica puts huge pressure on NASA/Florida to roll out the red carpet at the Cape.  Imagine the largest rocket ever flown -- Nova-Class -- launching regularly to the Moon and Mars... from Texas, not the Space Coast. 

Florida politicians would be apoplectic... but they are out-voted by more than three to one by California plus Texas.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: mme on 10/13/2017 11:43 PM
Hopping in here, is it confirmed that BFR isn't launching from 39A and only Boca?
From Steve Jurvetson: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheJCurve+%28The+J+Curve%29)

Quote
On launch sites
Pad 39a will be used for Falcon Heavy launches and crew flights
Boca Chica launch site under construction is the "perfect location for BFR"
She did not mention anything else about Boca Chica other than its prime suitability for BFR
So I would not say it's confirmed that it won't launch from 39A, but I would bet that it launches from Boca Chica first. Why convert a launch pad that is making money before you need to?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bstrong on 10/13/2017 11:51 PM
With regard to beach closures, I think there's an easy win-win here. I stopped by Boca Chica this summer while on a family vacation to South Padre, and I have to say that even after reading Nomadd's posts about the trash, I was still shocked to see it in person. I've seen my share of garbage-covered beaches, but this has got to be the worst I've visited in the US. I wouldn't even let my kids take their shoes off.

That made me sad for a number of reasons, one of which being that if it were clean, it would be one of the nicest beaches in Texas. Even if I wasn't a rabid fan, as a Texas resident, I would gladly trade a few more closures if SpaceX would fund some crews to clean up and maintain the beach. So, maybe there's a deal to be made with the land office.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/14/2017 12:58 AM
I think the most likely scenario is boca chica becomes the macgregor for BFR. They have to do lots of tests, static fires, hops, etc. They may eventually launch first from there. But I think when they are ready they will launch mostly from KSC.

Is there anything in the rule book about static fires?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: midnightrider3000 on 10/14/2017 01:58 AM
Plus if you blow up the Boca site testing the BFR, you can still continue to launch your bread and butter from the Cape.

Besides, think of how it starts. The first BFR arrives and take weeks or months occupying a launch site while things are worked out. Suppose it doesn't RUD or crash. How long do thing before the next one arrives or the original is back onsite ready to launch? How long before they are launching BFRs more than once a month?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 10/14/2017 03:33 AM
I think the most likely scenario is boca chica becomes the macgregor for BFR. They have to do lots of tests, static fires, hops, etc. They may eventually launch first from there. But I think when they are ready they will launch mostly from KSC.

Is there anything in the rule book about static fires?

They need to close the beach. But it seems those rules allow that and the number is not restricted, only restricted to not happen on the above mentioned dates.

I am not clear yet, in which way the suborbital flights mentioned in th EIS apply to testflights and if that is counted as one of the 12 flights.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: darkenfast on 10/14/2017 04:25 AM
I think we have conflicting "facts" here. 

We have statements about Boca Chica being the launch site.

We have some restrictions on use of the site because of the State Beach plus the nesting turtles and other wildlife.

We have an international border closer than what was considered a safe distance for KSC's 39 complex.

We also have our favorite Boca Chica resident and a few of his neighbors to think about.

On the other hand: the local area may be really thrilled by the thought that the first expedition to Mars may leave from their area.  Even Mexico might like to build some tourist viewing areas on their side for a ringside seat.  On the negative side: never underestimate the power of NIMBYism and various protest groups.

I will be the first to admit: I haven't a clue how this will play out.  Gonna be interesting, though!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Flying Beaver on 10/14/2017 05:18 AM
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And on Boca Chica, I do agree that Shotwell's comments point towards it be at least a test, if not the original launch site for the BFR system. Falcon just doesn't need another pad right now other than 40, 39A and 4E. 2 week candace at each pad is certainly more than enough for any kind of short term (5 year) launch demand even with Starlink, which will be shared between all the active pads (both west and east coast).

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: david1971 on 10/14/2017 05:31 AM
Memorial Day to Labor Day takes out weekends in June, July, and August, with a little slop before and after.

Mars launch windows occur every 2 years, 2 months.

The 2018 window has Mars Insight going in early May, so...
2020 would be July
2022 would be September
2024 would be November
2026 would be January
2028 would be March
2030 would be April

So this might possibly be an issue in 2022, but wouldn't for the next 4 launch windows.  By the 2030's I'd hope that SpaceX would have enough sway to get a waiver if needed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: M.E.T. on 10/14/2017 07:02 AM
That's an expensive piece of equipment to leave sitting around for a few years while the launch vehicle is developed.  I suspect it may have some role in construction of the launch site.

Right.  First BFR launch appears to be no earlier than 2022, 5 years from now, and that will probably slip.

But the question remains:
Will they launch BFR from land, or from a platform a few miles offshore from Boca Chica beach?

Remember, Texas State law forbids SpaceX from closing Boca Chica Beach on any weekend or holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  That's not going to change.

Also remember that each BFR Mars mission will require 6 launches: 1 for the spacecraft, and 5 more tanker launches to fuel the spacecraft.  And since BFR is highly reusable, SpaceX will presumably want to launch several spacecraft within each Mars launch window, which is only a few weeks every 2 years.  So we're talking dozens of launches within a relatively short period of time.

With this in mind, the Texas State beach closure law would really limit SpaceX's goals for colonizing Mars.

If they built a BFR launch pad just a few miles offshore, beach closures become a non-issue, but they would still need the control center and tracking station in Boca Chica Village, and they would probably also need a place next to the beach to store propellant, with fiber, hoses, etc. running out to the launch pad.  So the crane could be to build the control center building, payload processing buildings, water tower, etc.


Actually, the law doesn't say that.  It says:

(d)  The commissioners court may not close a beach or access
    points to the beach on a primary launch date consisting of any of
    the following days without the approval of the land office:
                 (1)  the Saturday or Sunday preceding Memorial Day;
                 (2)  Memorial Day;
                 (3)  July 4;
                 (4)  Labor Day; or
                 (5)  a Saturday or Sunday that is after Memorial Day but
    before Labor Day.

Which is ALMOST a ban, but not exactly a ban.   I don't doubt that it would be way easier to plan around these days, rather than engage the Land office, but the option is there.

Are the weekends that important though? They still have Monday to Friday.  You would have 5 consecutive days available for launches, followed by only 2 stand down days over the weekend, before another 5 consecutive days become available.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/14/2017 11:17 AM
Are the weekends that important though? They still have Monday to Friday.  You would have 5 consecutive days available for launches, followed by only 2 stand down days over the weekend, before another 5 consecutive days become available.

Remember SpaceX's long term goals.  They want 100,000 people living on Mars.  At 100 people per spacecraft, that's 1000 missions.  At 6 launches per mission, that's 6000 launches.

Question: The Mars window every 2 years - how long does it last ?  I'm assuming they need a somewhat optimum trajectory for 100 people.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: M.E.T. on 10/14/2017 11:21 AM
Are the weekends that important though? They still have Monday to Friday.  You would have 5 consecutive days available for launches, followed by only 2 stand down days over the weekend, before another 5 consecutive days become available.

Remember SpaceX's long term goals.  They want 100,000 people living on Mars.  At 100 people per spacecraft, that's 1000 missions.  At 6 launches per mission, that's 6000 launches.

Question: The Mars window every 2 years - how long does it last ?  I'm assuming they need a somewhat optimum trajectory for 100 people.

I think most of us accept that the "100 launches per Mars window" is 30 years or so down the line, at best. We are in the exploration phase now. The colonization phase will follow later. By then, Boca Chica will long since not be the only launch site anymore.

EDITED down to 100 launches per Mars window, from 1000.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/14/2017 12:37 PM
Are the weekends that important though? They still have Monday to Friday.  You would have 5 consecutive days available for launches, followed by only 2 stand down days over the weekend, before another 5 consecutive days become available.

Remember SpaceX's long term goals.  They want 100,000 people living on Mars.  At 100 people per spacecraft, that's 1000 missions.  At 6 launches per mission, that's 6000 launches.

Question: The Mars window every 2 years - how long does it last ?  I'm assuming they need a somewhat optimum trajectory for 100 people.

I think most of us accept that the "100 launches per Mars window" is 30 years or so down the line, at best. We are in the exploration phase now. The colonization phase will follow later. By then, Boca Chica will long since not be the only launch site anymore.

EDITED down to 100 launches per Mars window, from 1000.

But still, with the launch cadence they're looking at for Mars missions, the beach closure laws will be limiting long-term.

The near term issue is getting approvals.  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) limits SpaceX to to 12 launches per per year.  Nothing larger than Falcon Heavy is allowed, and even then, the EIS only allows 2 Falcon Heavy launches per year.  Reading the EIS, I found that FH is already over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village by 2dB, but they made an exception.  Since BFR is much larger than FH, I assume it will be much louder, and at much lower frequencies, which could break windows or crack foundations, so getting an exception would be much harder.

For these reasons, I've always assumed that, in order to launch BFR from Boca Chica Beach, SpaceX would need to buy all the houses in Boca Chica Village. There's around 40 houses there, and they're relatively inexpensive, so it would probably only cost around $5 million to buy all all of them, assuming they can get people to sell.  But still, $5 million is real money, and we've seen how that kind of money can change SpaceX's plans.  For example, instead of building BFR at Hawthorne, SpaceX now intends to build the BFR close to water (https://mainenginecutoff.com/blog/2017/10/shotwell-at-stanford).  That's because it would cost $2.5 million to move BFR from Hawthorne to the nearest seaport.

Another issue is the soil stability at Boca Chica Beach.  It seems it's a lot more shifty than they first thought.  They may need pilings up to 1000 feet deep to reach stable earth.  With that in mind, a fixed launch platform a few miles offshore may not be much more expensive.

Again, I'm assuming that an offshore launch platform would still require a lot of facilities onshore, i.e. control center, tracking station, payload processing, propellant storage, water tower, etc.  I'm also assuming they would run fiber and hoses from the beach, so the offshore platform would be relatively small, like Elon showed in the video at the end of the presentation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 10/14/2017 12:44 PM
Reading the EIS, I found that FH is already over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village by 2dB, but they made an exception.  Since BFR is much larger than FH, I assume it will be much louder, and at much lower frequencies, which could break windows or crack foundations, so getting an exception would be much harder.

Falcon heavy has 27 Merlins for 22.8 MN thrust
BFR has 31 raptors for 52.7 MN thrust.

In terms of numbers of engines it's not that big an increase, though it is over double the thrust. Not sure how this would impact the sound levels but interesting numbers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/14/2017 01:03 PM
Reading the EIS, I found that FH is already over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village by 2dB, but they made an exception.  Since BFR is much larger than FH, I assume it will be much louder, and at much lower frequencies, which could break windows or crack foundations, so getting an exception would be much harder.

Falcon heavy has 27 Merlins for 22.8 MN thrust
BFR has 31 raptors for 52.7 MN thrust.

In terms of numbers of engines it's not that big an increase, though it is over double the thrust. Not sure how this would impact the sound levels but interesting numbers.

Yes, thrust is one component, but the sound level also depends on other things, like exit velocity, how the engines interact with each other, etc.

And even more important than the overall sound level is the frequency content.  It's the lower frequencies that cause damage.  I'm not an acoustics expert, but in general, it seems like a larger rocket would tend to produce more lower frequencies.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/14/2017 02:03 PM
I think most of us accept that the "100 launches per Mars window" is 30 years or so down the line, at best.

I think it will be sooner, for 2 reasons:

1) Remember, it takes 6 BFR launches for 1 BFS spaceship to go to Mars.

2) Look what SpaceX has achieved in the last 10 years.  Their first successful Falcon 1 flight was Sept 2008. Their first successful Falcon 9 flight was June 2010. Their first successful landing was December 2015.  They now have 18 successful landings. Their rate of progress is amazing.

Are the weekends that important though? They still have Monday to Friday.  You would have 5 consecutive days available for launches, followed by only 2 stand down days over the weekend, before another 5 consecutive days become available.

That all depends on how fast they can re-launch BFR.  For example, if they can launch BFR every day, that would take 8 days to send 1 BFR spacecraft to Mars.  Without the Boca Chica Beach closure issue, it would only take 6 days.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: billh on 10/14/2017 06:36 PM
I think if I were a pad guy at Boca Chica I'd be secretly glad for the rule about not launching on weekends.  :o
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: M.E.T. on 10/14/2017 07:00 PM
I think most of us accept that the "100 launches per Mars window" is 30 years or so down the line, at best.

I think it will be sooner, for 2 reasons:

1) Remember, it takes 6 BFR launches for 1 BFS spaceship to go to Mars.

2) Look what SpaceX has achieved in the last 10 years.  Their first successful Falcon 1 flight was Sept 2008. Their first successful Falcon 9 flight was June 2010. Their first successful landing was December 2015.  They now have 18 successful landings. Their rate of progress is amazing.

Are the weekends that important though? They still have Monday to Friday.  You would have 5 consecutive days available for launches, followed by only 2 stand down days over the weekend, before another 5 consecutive days become available.

That all depends on how fast they can re-launch BFR.  For example, if they can launch BFR every day, that would take 8 days to send 1 BFR spacecraft to Mars.  Without the Boca Chica Beach closure issue, it would only take 6 days.

Fair point. I was thinking how long until 100 spaceships depart for Mars in a giant convoy. You are correct that this equates to 600 launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Cheapchips on 10/14/2017 10:08 PM
By the time they're flying 100 ships to Mars they'll be using the dedicated tanker. Presumably five launches or less for that instead? 

I'd expect more than a flight a day.  Gwynne stated that shop to ship refueling as fast as the BFR presentation is the goal. That speed, or as close as they can get to it, is going to apply to the booster turn around as well.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: biosehnsucht on 10/14/2017 11:29 PM
re: dedicated tankers

https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comments/76e79c/i_am_elon_musk_ask_me_anything_about_bfr/dodexlx/?context=10000

Quote from: Elon Musk
At first, the tanker will just be a ship with no payload. Down the road, we will build a dedicated tanker that will have an extremely high full to empty mass ratio (warning: it will look kinda weird).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/15/2017 10:56 AM
 I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/15/2017 12:42 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

My guess: They'll build an F9/FH pad on Boca Chica Beach soon, and a BFR pad a few miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach.  Both will use the same control center, tracking station, oxygen production, water tower, etc.  I'm assuming an offshore platform would have electrical cables, fiber-optics, and flexible pipe run from the beach to the offshore platform, so they would need the current launch site location to support an offshore platform anyway.

To clarify, what Gwynne Shortwell recently said at Stanford was (https://mainenginecutoff.com/blog/2017/10/shotwell-at-stanford):
Quote
Boca Chica launch site under construction is the "perfect location for BFR"

She did not mention anything else about Boca Chica other than its prime suitability for BFR.

Everything else is speculation.

Nothing in her comments suggested that Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy wouldn't fly from Boca Chica.

And given the issues with Texas State beach closure laws, and with BFR being way over the Federal legal sound limit in Boca Chica Village, and with the current EIS allowing only 12 launches per year, I suspect "perfect location for BFR" implies a fixed platform a few miles off Boca Chica Beach, like Elon showed in the presentation:
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 10/15/2017 01:21 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

OK, what is RGV?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 10/15/2017 01:22 PM
Rio Grande Valley
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: DreamyPickle on 10/15/2017 02:18 PM
Switching plans from F9 to BFR isn't much of a cancellation. Construction will proceed at a similar pace except for a different rocket and at a larger scale.

Most likely Boca Chica will be the pad used for initial suborbital testing of the BFS prototype so they'll need to get this up and running relatively soon.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Semmel on 10/15/2017 03:06 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

So do they _know_ that F9 is cancelled for Boca Chica or do they _guess_? So far, we have the strong suggestion that BFR is going to fly from Boca Chica but we have little to know indication if Boca Chica is also serving as a F9 launch pad much earlier.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 10/15/2017 04:08 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

So do they _know_ that F9 is cancelled for Boca Chica or do they _guess_? So far, we have the strong suggestion that BFR is going to fly from Boca Chica but we have little to know indication if Boca Chica is also serving as a F9 launch pad much earlier.
These comments strongly suggest Falcon won't fly from Texas:

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.

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Barrie on 10/15/2017 04:26 PM
If the range is serving multiple pads for multiple operators, the range is a potential bottleneck.  Wasn't that the point of having another range? What happens if/when BO start operating?  How long will an SLS launch reserve the range for?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/15/2017 04:51 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

OK, what is RGV?

Rio Grande Valley

i.e. the part of South East Texas that encompasses Brownsville and Boca Chica
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/15/2017 05:20 PM
Most likely Boca Chica will be the pad used for initial suborbital testing of the BFS prototype so they'll need to get this up and running relatively soon.

To be clear, this is speculation, which is fine for this thread.

But may I ask, what makes you think so?  Speculation usually has some underlying reasoning behind it.

These comments strongly suggest Falcon won't fly from Texas:

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.

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/

These comments only indicate that SpaceX will be operating F9/FH from 3 pads, and that a 4th pad will be used for the first BFR flights. 

The comments above don't indicate where that first BFR pad will be.

Some have speculated the first BFR pad will be at Boca Chica.  And some have speculated that Boca Chica will only be used only for BFR.  But this is all speculation.  SpaceX has never said anything like this.  Gwynne only said Boca Chica is a "perfect location for BFR", which just implies they intend to launch BFR from there someday.

So it's just as likely that the first BFR flights will be from Florida.  In fact, when Elon unveiled ITS in 2016, he showed it launching from pad 39A.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/15/2017 05:39 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

My guess: They'll build an F9/FH pad on Boca Chica Beach soon, and a BFR pad a few miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach.  Both will use the same control center, tracking station, oxygen production, water tower, etc.
Agree. But for entirely different reasons.

Musk's companies don't do things piecemeal.

His Boring company and Hyperloop envision omnipresent transport systems. The "BFR earth transport system" in his presentation is of similar kind.

There's a key financial and regulatory rationale that might be driving this - expectation of ROI at large scale. (Which does NOT need a feasible financial model in the immediate, as I might explain later if it matters.)

Lets assume he builds the envisioned launch/landing/support platform, and uses the prototype as his BFR test pad/range. Perhaps it blows up a few times and is rebuilt. Perhaps it "evolves" as BFR is brought to active use. Then, he uses this accumulated history to "inform" to other locations, possibly worldwide, as to how to "sell" the same capability, as a "carbon copy". They'll know exactly what it will entail, know exactly how operations will run/cost/ROI, so they can finance/adapt to regulatory frameworks globally.

As to "buying off" Texas, possibly you build these there and export them to the world.

And, for initially financing BFR, this huge growth strategy, likely over a hundred years or more, would allow a market cap supported by huge global gross product, exceeding whole countries individual GDP's. Doesn't have to be feasible now, just possible.

It would be like owning all aircraft, airlines, airports, FBO's ... in the world, all at once.

Which also could do space tourism, support for lunar/in space developments, ... Mars too.

What it most allows SX to do right now is raise big money. On the threat that if he brought it off, and you didn't get bought in early for cheap, you'd either be locked out or have to pay in at 1,000,000x more after all the step ups in valuation.

Back to the F9/FH question. BC was originally to be a "launch factory" for commercial launches, because CCAFS is a pain to get foreign client through, and too much competition from other needs. If this is still true, than perhaps that still happens.

But BFR test facilities/pad seems to be an immediate need, and if existing FH/F9 facilities are "good enough", perhaps that gets shoved to the end of the timeline like deemphasizing Dragon 2 landing?

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 10/15/2017 07:15 PM
One question is if there is any way to have one pad serve F9/FH, BFR and BFS (including BFS by itself for testing), or if it is even worth it to do that. They will need two different hangars, because of different TELs, and other support equipment specialized for each system. The advantage of BC is that it is still pretty much a clean slate and they can build it however they want. Is it true that the planned pad location is not suitable for BFR due to excessive noise and not far enough from BC Village? If so, why is Boca Chica "perfect for BFR according to Gwynne? That's 3 Questions.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RedLineTrain on 10/15/2017 07:27 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

BF spaceship testing isn't anything to sneeze at and could bring just as much or more near-term rumbling launch goodness.  In fact, it would probably bring more employment to care for and feed the test vehicles.

As for the tourism at SPI, it's tough to know know how much of an "event" atmosphere the testing would bring about.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 10/15/2017 07:42 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

BF spaceship testing isn't anything to sneeze at and could bring just as much or more near-term rumbling launch goodness.  In fact, it would probably bring more employment to care for and feed the test vehicles.

As for the tourism at SPI, it's tough to know know how much of an "event" atmosphere the testing would bring about.

Usually rocket testing doesn't happen at a planned instant in time where folks can watch it, although sending BFR/BFS on suborbital and orbital flights will need a launch license, NOTAM, and will also be very impressive, so people should have enough warning to be able to plan to see it.

I think a suborbital hop as Elon described "a few hundred Km in altitude and range" could launch from BC and land on a drone ship. Drone ship landing might be the only way they can get permission to do it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RedLineTrain on 10/15/2017 07:49 PM
I think a suborbital hop as Elon described "a few hundred Km in altitude and range" could launch from BC and land on a drone ship. Drone ship landing might be the only way they can get permission to do it.

I believe that such launches and landings are covered under the existing environmental impact review.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 10/15/2017 07:50 PM
One question is if there is any way to have one pad serve F9/FH, BFR and BFS (including BFS by itself for testing), or if it is even worth it to do that.
>

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/07/installation-flame-deflector-sls-begins-39b/

Quote
Updated information has allowed for a preliminary envisioning process (via L2 Envisioning (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41602.msg1701298#msg1701298)) with pad engineers and experts evaluating a second, larger, Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) outside the pad perimeter, allowing the subscale BFR to roll to an additional mount along the same trench at 39A. An article on this 39A option will follow in the coming weeks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bstrong on 10/15/2017 08:16 PM
These comments strongly suggest Falcon won't fly from Texas:

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.

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/

I think you're reading too much into this statement. Ochinero is a sales guy who is speaking to potential customers and his paycheck depends on convincing them that if they buy a launch today, SpaceX will have the capacity for it. SpaceX may or may not launch F9 form Boca Chica, but if I were in Ochinero's shoes, I would downplay launch capacity concerns either way. And "we can manage with three" is a long way from saying "we won't build a fourth."
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/15/2017 11:18 PM
Is it true that the planned pad location is not suitable for BFR due to excessive noise and not far enough from BC Village?
Here's what we know for sure:
1) Some houses in Boca Chica Village are only 1.9 miles from the launch pad.
2) The EIS says Falcon Heavy is 2dB over the Federal legal sound limit, but they made an exception because
    2dB is just barely over the limit, and SpaceX offered hearing protection to all Boca Chica residents.
3) BFR has over twice the thrust of Falcon Heavy.
4) BFR liftoff weight is way more than Falcon Heavy (anyone have more details on this?).
5) Lower frequency sound waves are much more damaging, i.e. can break windows and crack foundations.

If so, why is Boca Chica "perfect for BFR according to Gwynne?
Good question.

If they plan to launch BFR from a fixed platform a few miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, sound levels, beach closures, and other approval issues would essentially go away.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/16/2017 12:00 PM
I think a suborbital hop as Elon described "a few hundred Km in altitude and range" could launch from BC and land on a drone ship. Drone ship landing might be the only way they can get permission to do it.

I believe that such launches and landings are covered under the existing environmental impact review.

From 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) section ES.2.1
Quote
Within the 12 launch operations per year, SpaceX may elect to have permitted launches of smaller reusable suborbital launch vehicles from this proposed site.

From 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) section 2.1.1
Quote
The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles are described below... Regarding other reusable suborbital launch vehicles... such vehicles would be smaller than the Falcon 9 and may consist of the first stage of a Falcon 9.

From 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) section 2.1.1.2
Quote
Within the 12 launch operations per year, the Proposed Action also includes permitted launches of reusable suborbital launch vehicles. A reusable suborbital launch vehicle could consist of a Falcon 9 Stage 1 tank with a maximum propellant (LOX and RP-1) load of approximately 6,900 gal.

Remember, when the EIS was originally written back in 2013, SpaceX was still testing Grasshopper.  They hadn't yet even attempted to recover a real first stage.

Of course, SpaceX could ask to amend the EIS, but that requires a public review period, and we haven't seen anything about that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 10/16/2017 03:32 PM
Well IF the RGV folks are chagrined that there may be no Falcon launches because they don't get to see rocket flights then they may be amenable to amending the EIS statement to allow BFS hops and RTLS tests.  If I were SpaceX I'd want my EIS permissions aligned with my future vehicle flight plans before spending $$ constructing expensive stuff like launch pads, support facilities like propellant tanks and control centers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/16/2017 04:41 PM
If I were SpaceX I'd want my EIS permissions aligned with my future vehicle flight plans before spending $$ constructing expensive stuff like launch pads, support facilities like propellant tanks and control centers.
I agree.

Well IF the RGV folks are chagrined that there may be no Falcon launches because they don't get to see rocket flights then they may be amenable to amending the EIS statement to allow BFS hops and RTLS tests.
I see what you mean, but I can also see an opposite point of view for area residents.

As Nomadd said earlier (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1737625#msg1737625): "cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment."

Also, for the people who didn't wan't SpaceX in the area to begin with, launching a much larger rocket much more often gives them more ammunition to block  it.

From a public relations point of view, it's much better to start out small, and when people get comfortable with that, ask for more.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: matthewkantar on 10/16/2017 05:19 PM
Does anyone know if the volume of noise is strictly related to total takeoff thrust? I wonder for instance if five 300 K lbs engines would be higher pitched and there for less damaging than one 1.5 million lbs thrust engine? What about higher exhaust velocities? Does anybody have a guess as to how much louder 31 Raptors will be than 27 Merlins?

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/16/2017 07:44 PM
Wow well while we’ve been talking about the BFR since Sept 29th anything actually happening at Boca Chica right now?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/16/2017 08:17 PM
Musk has said the first flights of BFS will be on just 3 sl raptors. This will allow them to do hops. He said for orbital reentry they would need 3 sl raptor for takeoff and then 4 vac raptors to get the altitude and speed for reentry. What I am not clear on is if 3 sl raptors have enough thrust to takeoff from earth's surface with a full fuel load.

In any case this doesn't sound louder than a f9.

3*1.7MN/g=520 tonnes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 10/16/2017 08:18 PM
Fuel load for BFS is 1100 tones, plus 85 tonnes structure... so no.

But you don't have to fully fuel it...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/16/2017 08:27 PM
But then you can't to orbital speed necessary for the test of reentry profile...
Also I get this for the vac raptors.
 1.9MN * 4 / g = 775 tonnes which is less than the 1185 tonnes for a fully fueled S2. Which means after staging it slows down! I must be doing something wrong.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 10/16/2017 08:33 PM
I've not done the calculations but it has been said that BFS can be an SSTO with a very small payload. That would get you into the energies needed to test reentry profiles.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/16/2017 08:43 PM
Maybe they intend to run the sl raptors for the initial part after staging?
that would give 520+775=1295
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Comga on 10/16/2017 09:01 PM
I was talking to someone in Brownsville yesterday. A lot of people and agencies have invested a lot of time and money in this port, and cancelling the Falcon here in exchange for a vague idea of something happening someday is not going over well, to put it lightly. SpaceX credibility in The RGV couldn't be much lower at the moment.

My guess: They'll build an F9/FH pad on Boca Chica Beach soon, and a BFR pad a few miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach.  Both will use the same control center, tracking station, oxygen production, water tower, etc.  I'm assuming an offshore platform would have electrical cables, fiber-optics, and flexible pipe run from the beach to the offshore platform, so they would need the current launch site location to support an offshore platform anyway.

To clarify, what Gwynne Shortwell recently said at Stanford was (https://mainenginecutoff.com/blog/2017/10/shotwell-at-stanford):
Quote
Boca Chica launch site under construction is the "perfect location for BFR"

She did not mention anything else about Boca Chica other than its prime suitability for BFR.

Everything else is speculation.

Nothing in her comments suggested that Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy wouldn't fly from Boca Chica.

And given the issues with Texas State beach closure laws, and with BFR being way over the Federal legal sound limit in Boca Chica Village, and with the current EIS allowing only 12 launches per year, I suspect "perfect location for BFR" implies a fixed platform a few miles off Boca Chica Beach, like Elon showed in the presentation:

Before I realized that it's an approaching ferry, I thought the little vehicle in the upper left was the NCC 1701/7 Galileo.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/16/2017 09:15 PM
And on Boca Chica, I do agree that Shotwell's comments point towards it be at least a test, if not the original launch site for the BFR system. Falcon just doesn't need another pad right now other than 40, 39A and 4E. 2 week candace at each pad is certainly more than enough for any kind of short term (5 year) launch demand even with Starlink, which will be shared between all the active pads (both west and east coast).

Still seems to make the most sense being used as a backup plan, or leverage on the Space Coast.

Once LC-40 is finished, it should take up all/most the F9 flights, except future Crew Dragon and USAF/DoD flight that require vertical integration (and maybe one or both of those could be added to LC-40 in the future?) and the occasional overflow of commercial F9. 
That should allow 39A to undergo updates to accommodate BFR without having to work around too many launches.  Crew Dragon may only fly like once a year as ISS crew rotation will be split with CST-100, and that just for the American crews.  The Russians will still fly up on their Soyuz.  And as I understand, there really aren't that many USAF/DoD payloads that require vertical integration?, and Atlas will probably still get a share of those.  It's more about having that capability in order to bid for those launches, than that they'll be flying many of them.
FH probably won't fly very often, as F9 has evolved up to the point where it can handle many of the payloads that FH was originally developed to carry, back in Falcon v1.0.  It'll probably only be needed for those occasional D4H class missions (only like 8 of those in the whole history of the EELV program), and if SpaceX still does their Lunar flyby mission with private passengers.
So while 39A will have the capabilities that LC-40 won't to fly FH, commercial crew, and vertical integrated payloads, and any overflow F9 commercial launches, it probably won't be needed to fly any of those very often.  Allowing BFR upgrades and operations to proceed without too many interruptions.

So BC doesn't see very needed, other than has a backup plan, or leverage to get the Space Coast to make favorable deals with SpaceX to get the largest rocket ever to launch from there rather than Texas.
And logistically, the Cape seems like it wold make much more sense than BC.







Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/16/2017 09:28 PM
And given the issues with Texas State beach closure laws, and with BFR being way over the Federal legal sound limit in Boca Chica Village, and with the current EIS allowing only 12 launches per year, I suspect "perfect location for BFR" implies a fixed platform a few miles off Boca Chica Beach, like Elon showed in the presentation:

After seeing that in Elon's presentation, that makes me think that might be the only plausible way they could launch from any East coast location in the US other than the Space Coast in Florida.  But again, that makes more sense as a backup contingency.  Having a pad on land right near your main base of launch operations already, just seems to make a lot more sense if possible.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/16/2017 09:30 PM
Well IF the RGV folks are chagrined that there may be no Falcon launches because they don't get to see rocket flights then they may be amenable to amending the EIS statement to allow BFS hops and RTLS tests.  If I were SpaceX I'd want my EIS permissions aligned with my future vehicle flight plans before spending $$ constructing expensive stuff like launch pads, support facilities like propellant tanks and control centers.

Even if the RGV folks were all for it, I doubt they'd be the issue.  There'd be advocacy groups from all over the country that could/would come in and file law suits and injunctions that could tie things up for years, regardless of what the locals' views were on it. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: virnin on 10/16/2017 11:51 PM
Well IF the RGV folks are chagrined that there may be no Falcon launches because they don't get to see rocket flights then they may be amenable to amending the EIS statement to allow BFS hops and RTLS tests.  If I were SpaceX I'd want my EIS permissions aligned with my future vehicle flight plans before spending $$ constructing expensive stuff like launch pads, support facilities like propellant tanks and control centers.

Even if the RGV folks were all for it, I doubt they'd be the issue.  There'd be advocacy groups from all over the country that could/would come in and file law suits and injunctions that could tie things up for years, regardless of what the locals' views were on it.

Having lived in Texas for several years, I think you would be surprised how little regard the Lone Star state has for outside agitators.  If it were me, I wouldn't worry too much about anyone but the locals and the state.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: deruch on 10/17/2017 08:01 AM
These comments strongly suggest Falcon won't fly from Texas:

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.

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/

I think you're reading too much into this statement. Ochinero is a sales guy who is speaking to potential customers and his paycheck depends on convincing them that if they buy a launch today, SpaceX will have the capacity for it. SpaceX may or may not launch F9 form Boca Chica, but if I were in Ochinero's shoes, I would downplay launch capacity concerns either way. And "we can manage with three" is a long way from saying "we won't build a fourth."

Also important to consider is that his comments were strictly about external/customer launch commitments and didn't mention that SpaceX has plans for a significant level of internal launches in support of their constellation.  If that project is pursued then having a 4th launch site may be more important than his comments made seem.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/17/2017 08:01 AM
 Planning on both Canaveral pads to be always be available seems a little chancy. With accidents, maintenance and all the upgrades they love to do, I would have thought an extra Falcon pad would be pretty much required. Vandy missions and east coast/Texas mission are hardly ever interchangable, so California isn't really in the mix. Not to mention things that could take both Cape pads out of action for a while.

 (Why do people always say "Not to mention" when they're about to mention something?)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: jpo234 on 10/17/2017 09:09 AM
Also important to consider is that his comments were strictly about external/customer launch commitments and didn't mention that SpaceX has plans for a significant level of internal launches in support of their constellation.  If that project is pursued then having a 4th launch site may be more important than his comments made seem.

I thought the Constellation sats have to launch from Vandenberg. In this case an additional east coast pad wouldn't help.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: woods170 on 10/17/2017 09:29 AM
These comments strongly suggest Falcon won't fly from Texas:

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.

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/

I think you're reading too much into this statement. Ochinero is a sales guy who is speaking to potential customers and his paycheck depends on convincing them that if they buy a launch today, SpaceX will have the capacity for it. SpaceX may or may not launch F9 form Boca Chica, but if I were in Ochinero's shoes, I would downplay launch capacity concerns either way. And "we can manage with three" is a long way from saying "we won't build a fourth."

I disagree. The whole initial purpose of having a fourth launchpad, for Falcon 9, at Boca Chica was getting away from schedule interference with other launch providers at CCAFS and KSC. Much of that schedule interference came from the amount of time it took to reconfigure the range at KSC / CCAFS. By owning it's own range, at Boca Chica, SpaceX would basically be free to launch there whenever they wanted.

However...
Now that Falcon 9 is flying with an autonomous range safety system, as well as ULA being in the process of implementing autonomous range safety as well, the turnaround time for the range at KSC/CCAFS is decreasing rapidly. USAF officials recently reported that they will be able to support 40 launches per year out of KSC/CCAFS with the new system.
In short: much of the reason to develop Boca Chica for Falcon 9 has gone away in the past two years.
So: why develop a fourth launchpad for Falcon 9 when it is no longer needed? Particularly now that BFR is set to replace Falcon 9 within the next decade...

On the other hand you have BFR. With LC-40 at CCAFS and LC-39A at KSC flying out the Falcon 9 manifest there is need for an initial BFR launchpad. And that's where Boca Chica comes in. My money is on Boca Chica switching to a BFR-only design next year (if it isn't already happening).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Ionmars on 10/17/2017 11:47 AM
I like your reasons for using BC for BFR. But if I were SpaceX, I would want to achieve several things that overlap. First, I would want a pad right away to test BFR during its development phase. This would likely be LC39-A because (a) they have reduced the size of the Raptor-powered rocket to fit the thrust limit of 39-A, and (b) they already said they would launch BFR from 39A.

Another goal would be to have a launchpad to meet an increasing backlog. SpaceX originally said BC was to be a site devoted to commercial spaceflight. ISTM that could still be the goal, They would build it to accommodate F9, but also the capability to easily upgrade to BFR or even ITS. This would require an extra large flame trench and the ability to switch fuels when necessary. This would give BC a workload during the next 5 years with F9 flights while BFR was being developed.  :)

Edit: spelling
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/17/2017 02:02 PM
remember they can't use Macgregor for BFR/BFS. They will need a site (like BC) to do static fires of BFS (at first), Short hops, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Oersted on 10/17/2017 02:05 PM
(Why do people always say "Not to mention" when they're about to mention something?)

Probably for the same reason that they say "With all due respect" before saying something disrespectful... :-)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 10/17/2017 03:48 PM
(Why do people always say "Not to mention" when they're about to mention something?)

Probably for the same reason that they say "With all due respect" before saying something disrespectful... :-)

Not that I'm disagreeing with what you said, but...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: DreamyPickle on 10/17/2017 04:22 PM
First, I would want a pad right away to test BFR during its development phase. This would likely be LC39-A

Another goal would be to have a launchpad to meet an increasing backlog. This would give BC a workload during the next 5 years with F9 flights while BFR was being developed.

Best way to support a high launch rate at the cape would be to skip all the additional downtime required for supporting a new rocket with a new fuel, not to mention the risk of BFR prototypes exploding. And the best way to bring up a pad for BFR testing would be to not get interrupted by flights of a different rocket.

There were many contrary statements in the past but right now it makes most sense to focus Boca Chica on BFR testing and LC39-A on operational F9 flights.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bstrong on 10/17/2017 04:46 PM
I disagree. The whole initial purpose of having a fourth launchpad, for Falcon 9, at Boca Chica was getting away from schedule interference with other launch providers at CCAFS and KSC. Much of that schedule interference came from the amount of time it took to reconfigure the range at KSC / CCAFS. By owning it's own range, at Boca Chica, SpaceX would basically be free to launch there whenever they wanted.

However...
Now that Falcon 9 is flying with an autonomous range safety system, as well as ULA being in the process of implementing autonomous range safety as well, the turnaround time for the range at KSC/CCAFS is decreasing rapidly. USAF officials recently reported that they will be able to support 40 launches per year out of KSC/CCAFS with the new system.
In short: much of the reason to develop Boca Chica for Falcon 9 has gone away in the past two years.
So: why develop a fourth launchpad for Falcon 9 when it is no longer needed? Particularly now that BFR is set to replace Falcon 9 within the next decade...

On the other hand you have BFR. With LC-40 at CCAFS and LC-39A at KSC flying out the Falcon 9 manifest there is need for an initial BFR launchpad. And that's where Boca Chica comes in. My money is on Boca Chica switching to a BFR-only design next year (if it isn't already happening).

Your points are all valid. My point was just that a statement from a sales guy talking to potential customers that can be read as "nothing to worry about here" doesn't prove anything in and of itself.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/17/2017 04:51 PM
remember they can't use Macgregor for BFR/BFS. They will need a site (like BC) to do static fires of BFS (at first), Short hops, etc.

Wouldn't 39A work just fine for that?  Especially since the new trimmer BFR now fits well within the exclusion zones and design parameters of KSC?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/17/2017 04:53 PM

Having lived in Texas for several years, I think you would be surprised how little regard the Lone Star state has for outside agitators.  If it were me, I wouldn't worry too much about anyone but the locals and the state.

That's why I like Texas.  :)

But in this case it's not so much about a bunch of marchers with signs protesting, but lawyers in courts filing law suits.  That's easier to go without the notice of the average Texan citizenry I think.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/17/2017 05:18 PM

I disagree. The whole initial purpose of having a fourth launchpad, for Falcon 9, at Boca Chica was getting away from schedule interference with other launch providers at CCAFS and KSC. Much of that schedule interference came from the amount of time it took to reconfigure the range at KSC / CCAFS. By owning it's own range, at Boca Chica, SpaceX would basically be free to launch there whenever they wanted.

However...
Now that Falcon 9 is flying with an autonomous range safety system, as well as ULA being in the process of implementing autonomous range safety as well, the turnaround time for the range at KSC/CCAFS is decreasing rapidly. USAF officials recently reported that they will be able to support 40 launches per year out of KSC/CCAFS with the new system.
In short: much of the reason to develop Boca Chica for Falcon 9 has gone away in the past two years.
So: why develop a fourth launchpad for Falcon 9 when it is no longer needed? Particularly now that BFR is set to replace Falcon 9 within the next decade...

Good points.
I also think this happened to FH.  During it's development, F9 has grown to meet many of the payload needs it was originally conceived for.  Additionally, propulsive reusability has come along the way which wasn't part of the original plan either.  And a tri-core configuration isn't well suited to that sort of reusability, it's best suited for making the most out of expendable hardware.
FH already has a lot of sunk costs and is almost ready, and has some needs still, primarily so SpaceX can fully compete with ULA's EELV's along the full range of USAF/DoD payload needs.  So it'll get built, but I don't know that it'll fly often, and will probably be retired first once BFR is operational. 
So yes, things change, and thus plans change.

On the other hand you have BFR. With LC-40 at CCAFS and LC-39A at KSC flying out the Falcon 9 manifest there is need for an initial BFR launchpad. And that's where Boca Chica comes in. My money is on Boca Chica switching to a BFR-only design next year (if it isn't already happening).

My money's still on BC only being a contingency backup plan for BFR.  I think it makes much more sense to fly from the big KSC pads, and I think that's what SpaceX is pushing for.  I think the push to get something flying sooner rather than later...even if it's just test flights...is to push SLS into cancellation.  Once that happens, I can't see any way that NASA doesn't sign a partnership agreement with SpaceX to provide launch services with BFR/BFS for their astronauts to the Moon and later Mars.  That will be the big investment that really greases the rails for the program.  Elon said they'd pay for it by using it for commercial payload launches...and I'm sure that's true to a point, but I think getting a fat NASA contract is really the investment capital Elon's angling for, just as the ISS commercial supply and crew contracts were for them.
And such a partnership would undoubtedly open up pad 39B for SpaceX BFR.  With both of those pads available to fly BFR, I believe that's the most desirable/simple/smooth/consolidated scenario for SpaceX.   And their Plan A.
I don't think they'll fly BFR from BC unless that plan falls apart somewhere along the road.  Once can never guarantee politics.

Falcon would eventually be moved from 39A all to LC-40 when feasible. 
I could maybe see a simple F9 pad still going up in BC just for diversification, but it likely wouldn't be set up for FH or vertical integration.  Just a HIF and a TEL and as minimal of a trench and facilities as they can get by with.  And a landing pad right there maybe too.
But as long as 39A is set up for dual use, it really acts as the backup East Coast Falcon pad to LC-40, so BC may not even be needed for that.  If the plan really is to replace F9 with BFR, they may not want to invest in a new launching facility for F9.

 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 10/17/2017 06:23 PM
(Why do people always say "Not to mention" when they're about to mention something?)

Probably for the same reason that they say "With all due respect" before saying something disrespectful... :-)

Not that I'm disagreeing with what you said, but...

(fan)
Why do mods always come in and spoil these fun conversations by reminding people to stay on topic? It's SO UNFAIR!

(mod) Stay on topic.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 10/17/2017 06:25 PM
(Why do people always say "Not to mention" when they're about to mention something?)

Probably for the same reason that they say "With all due respect" before saying something disrespectful... :-)

Not that I'm disagreeing with what you said, but...

(fan)
Why do mods always come in and spoil these fun conversations by reminding people to stay on topic? It's SO UNFAIR!

(mod) Stay on topic.
Not that you want to ruin a good conversation, but...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/17/2017 07:29 PM
The whole initial purpose of having a fourth launchpad, for Falcon 9, at Boca Chica was getting away from schedule interference with other launch providers at CCAFS and KSC.

I disagree.

The main reason SpaceX gave for a private launch site was to reduce launch costs.

Another big reason is the hassle of launching comsats from the cape.  See here for details:
AsiaSat CEO says Cape Canaveral has its drawbacks
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/012/140906capecanaveral/#.VAxCSGd0yoA

Also, Boca Chica gives them a "clean slate" .  They can set it up exactly how they want it.

I believe these are the main reasons SpaceX wanted a private launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Ionmars on 10/18/2017 12:21 AM
If SpaceX uses BC to reduce costs, and switches from F9 to BFR, then a major issue could arise in Brownsville. BFR will save costs, in part, by a very high launch rate. SpaceX has been given great support but will that support extend to a very large and noisy rocket that is launched every 48 hours, as they hope to achieve? So far SpX is limited to 12 launches per year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 10/18/2017 01:13 AM
Several BF-ASDS's?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: deruch on 10/18/2017 07:01 AM
Also important to consider is that his comments were strictly about external/customer launch commitments and didn't mention that SpaceX has plans for a significant level of internal launches in support of their constellation.  If that project is pursued then having a 4th launch site may be more important than his comments made seem.

I thought the Constellation sats have to launch from Vandenberg. In this case an additional east coast pad wouldn't help.
Nope. Based on the listed inclinations from SpaceX's FCC filing, more than 70% of the sats for the full LEO constellation are going to orbital inclinations of 53o and 53.8o.  And all of the initial deployment is.  Those inclinations are reachable from the Eastern Range but I'm not sure whether they are from Vandenberg.  Look at the attached pic in this post from the FCC filing thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41634.msg1609959#msg1609959) for the breakdown of inclinations and planes.  I'm not sure for the VLEO part.     

But the result is that SpaceX may be using up a lot of their Eastern launch opportunities internally and so moving a bunch of GTO launches to Boca Chica could be very useful if they are able. 

(this is all assuming that the constellation is delivered via F9/FH, let's not further divert discussion over BFR talk)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/18/2017 05:45 PM
If SpaceX uses BC to reduce costs, and switches from F9 to BFR, then a major issue could arise in Brownsville. BFR will save costs, in part, by a very high launch rate. SpaceX has been given great support but will that support extend to a very large and noisy rocket that is launched every 48 hours, as they hope to achieve? So far SpX is limited to 12 launches per year.

Yes, even more reason I don't think BC is the primary plan for BFR.  Just too many negatives vs. KSC for an LV of that size.

But the result is that SpaceX may be using up a lot of their Eastern launch opportunities internally and so moving a bunch of GTO launches to Boca Chica could be very useful if they are able. 

The main reason SpaceX gave for a private launch site was to reduce launch costs.

Another big reason is the hassle of launching comsats from the cape.  See here for details:
AsiaSat CEO says Cape Canaveral has its drawbacks
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/012/140906capecanaveral/#.VAxCSGd0yoA

Also, Boca Chica gives them a "clean slate" .  They can set it up exactly how they want it.

I believe these are the main reasons SpaceX wanted a private launch site.

And for these reasons, are why I'd said that they may still build a basic F9 pad at BC still.  It would also fit within the current IES, and be small enough not to cause too may issues with nearby population centers, stages can be easily road transported from the port or roads in Brownsville out to the pad, etc.

But, I think this new downsized BFR with the new goal of using it to start taking over their Falcon business is changing plans from when the property was purchased at BC, and what they'd originally planned to do there.  And they probably don't want to start building until they know for sure they will be able to stage BFR out of KSC as they want to, or if they'll need to fall back on BC as a contingency.  And they wouldn't want to be part way into construction of an F9 pad, and have to scrap all that and start over for BFR.    And by that point will they even want/need an F9 pad at BC?  As that would probably be a few years down the road.  Probably depends on how far along BFR when/if they get a deal at KSC for BFR, and how many difficulties at that time they are experiences launching those comsats from the Cape.  If they are managing those payloads sufficiently at that point, that'd be another reason they may not want to invest in another F9 pad at BC, and just go as they are until they can start transitioning some Falcon payloads over to BFR.  The AsiaSat CEO quote is from an article from 2014 when SpaceX procured the land, but things are changing, and in another few years, they could change more.  So it might not be as much of a hassle at CCAFS by then?




Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/18/2017 06:51 PM
 Rumors and SpaceX comments aside, I can't make sense out of the claims that Boca Chica isn't needed for Falcon. Adapting 39A to BFR can't be a minor thing and any incident at 40 while 39A is down for changes would wipe out most Falcon launch capability for who knows how long. Counting on everything going exactly right is a well paved road to hell.
 Making a dual purpose site for Texas might cost a bit of money and time, but compared to revenue and credibility loss from both pads in Florida being unavailable for a few months for any reason, it would be minor.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 10/18/2017 06:52 PM
Agree with the cited concerns about BC as a BFR launch facility, but the wildcard I'd speculated about pre-IAC is an offshore launch platform for BFR with command & control onshore.  Ocean is not deep there even 20KM out.

Arguing against offshore is capital expense and worse yet, increased operational expense barging/hydrofoiling propellant and stuff out and back to/from the platform.  SpaceX is very focused on reducing launch ops costs.  Offshore would increase them.

Glad I don't have to answer to SpaceX's CTO & COO.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 10/18/2017 06:55 PM
Rumors and SpaceX comments aside, I can't make sense out of the claims that Boca Chica isn't needed for Falcon. Adapting 39A or BFR can't be a minor thing and any incident at 40 while 39A is down for changes would wipe out most Falcon launch capability for who knows how long. Counting on everything going exactly right is a well paved road to hell.

Agree completely.  Strategy has way, way too many schedule moving parts.  SpaceX likely has a good feel for the likelihood of securing > 12 dates per year from BC.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/18/2017 07:01 PM
Rumors and SpaceX comments aside, I can't make sense out of the claims that Boca Chica isn't needed for Falcon. Adapting 39A or BFR can't be a minor thing and any incident at 40 while 39A is down for changes would wipe out most Falcon launch capability for who knows how long. Counting on everything going exactly right is a well paved road to hell.

That's true, and that did happen with LC-40.  But they just launched from 39A while they repaired (and probably upgraded).  If 39A is dual use, which seems to be the current plan (for the next 5 minutes anyway) then that'd just be the case again.  A Falcon explosion on 39A would then impact BFR work to a degree, but unsure how much.  It's a pretty robust structure after all. 
Upgrading LC-40 to be able to accommodate crew and vertical integration would make certain sense for such a contingency, but not sure if there's any plans to do that.

But note, ULA only has one East Coast pad for both Atlas and Delta, and the payloads aren't all interchangeable.  If an Atlas were to blow up, that would put on hold most Atlas payloads until it could be repaired as I understand.  And ULA has been operating like that for decades.  So it's certainly desirable, but not sure 100% necessary.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/18/2017 07:04 PM
 "Adapting 39A TO BFR" gdamit. Stoopid predictive typing option that keeps turning itself back on.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 10/18/2017 07:47 PM
SpaceX is more likely to launch BFR off 39B before 39A is converted... just my opinion on that...  ;)

Let's let the clock tick off a couple years and see which pad is first to Launch an all up BFR stack from the Cape...
BC will be first orbital flight of BFR... my opinion to clarify that...
A lot of hops and development there... followed by first couple of all up launches... from BC
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/18/2017 09:42 PM
Arguing against offshore is capital expense and worse yet, increased operational expense barging/hydrofoiling propellant and stuff out and back to/from the platform.

If they opt for a BFR launch platform a few miles off Boca Chica Beach, I'm assuming they would run underwater electrical cables, fiber optics, and flexible propellant pipes from the current launch site to the offshore platform.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/18/2017 09:49 PM
BC will be first orbital flight of BFR... my opinion to clarify that...
A lot of hops and development there... followed by first couple of all up launches... from BC

Assuming they can get the approvals to do so.

For sub-orbital test vehicles, the current EIS doesn't allow anything larger than Falcon 9.

For orbital launch vehicles, the current EIS doesn't allow anything larger than Falcon Heavy, and further limits that to only 2 launches per year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/18/2017 09:57 PM
SpaceX is more likely to launch BFR off 39B before 39A is converted... just my opinion on that...  ;)

Yup, it's all opinion/speculation at this point.  :)

But I'd counter that I tend to think it'll launch off 39A first.  Mainly because they have access to that pad now.  I'm sure they're angling for 39B, but really SLS needs to be cancelled before that could happen.   That won't happen for awhile, but it can be sped along by an even larger HLV sitting on 39A doing some static tests, fit checks, and maybe some booster tests with a dummy upper stage of the reusable upper stage isn't ready just yet (even just the basic tanker upper stage is going to probably be the long pole of the two pieces.  The booster should be relatively straight forward in comparison.)
The optics of even just that going on should help push SLS out the door sooner rather than later.  Right now BFR is just paper, but a giant booster firing on the 39A is another story.  So they need to show that on 39A before 39B really comes into play. 

So I think 39A gets used for all of that preliminary work and test flights, and then when they can get access to 39B after SLS gets cancelled, then they will use what they learned about launch BFRat 39A to set up shop at 39B, with probably a more advanced and streamlined setup.  Sort of "prototype" vs. "production model".

For some reason if 39B doesn't become available to them, then BC becomes the backup contingency, and they probably investigate building a series of launch/landing barges that stage out of Brownsville and go out into open water for launch and recovery operations, where they won't have all of the exclusion and regulation issues.  I think that'd be less ideal than having the two big pads at KSC to use, but they can't guarantee how or when things will shake out with SLS and 39B, and Elon wants to launch BFR one way or the other.
 

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/18/2017 11:37 PM
Yup, it's all opinion/speculation at this point.  :)

But I'd counter that I tend to think it'll launch off 39A first...

Your guess is as good as anyone else's.

I have to wonder if SpaceX actually has firm plans on where the first BFR launch will take place.  It all depends on how much NASA wants to be involved, and a lot can change in 5 years!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/18/2017 11:42 PM
Keep in mind you'll need to have a test facility for BFR. Will limitations at McGregor allow that?

Would BFS test first suborbitally? Where would this occur?

If BFR/BFS are agile developed to allow ultra rapid development without regard for risk (or need to inform/follow AF guidance), where would you like the expected, huge "booms" to occur? Place to learn how to operate a Nova class vehicle?

Where would be the least inexpensive to (re)build pad?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/19/2017 01:28 AM
Also important to consider is that his comments were strictly about external/customer launch commitments and didn't mention that SpaceX has plans for a significant level of internal launches in support of their constellation.  If that project is pursued then having a 4th launch site may be more important than his comments made seem.

I thought the Constellation sats have to launch from Vandenberg. In this case an additional east coast pad wouldn't help.
Nope. Based on the listed inclinations from SpaceX's FCC filing, more than 70% of the sats for the full LEO constellation are going to orbital inclinations of 53o and 53.8o.  And all of the initial deployment is.  Those inclinations are reachable from the Eastern Range but I'm not sure whether they are from Vandenberg.  Look at the attached pic in this post from the FCC filing thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41634.msg1609959#msg1609959) for the breakdown of inclinations and planes.  I'm not sure for the VLEO part.     

But the result is that SpaceX may be using up a lot of their Eastern launch opportunities internally and so moving a bunch of GTO launches to Boca Chica could be very useful if they are able. 

(this is all assuming that the constellation is delivered via F9/FH, let's not further divert discussion over BFR talk)
Your last bit is an extremely terrible assumption. Especially given the very compressed timescale that SpaceX wants for initial BFR deployment.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: DreamyPickle on 10/19/2017 02:04 AM
You might be reading too much into current approvals for stuff like number of launches. Maybe SpaceX just requested a number of launches based on their plans at the time and can request more. As for the noise levels in Boca Chica Village, doesn't it only have a few dozen people? It's not unrealistic to just pay everybody to move.

These problems could be solved for less than it would cost to add BFR capability to 39A.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 10/19/2017 02:35 AM
Rumors and SpaceX comments aside, I can't make sense out of the claims that Boca Chica isn't needed for Falcon. Adapting 39A to BFR can't be a minor thing and any incident at 40 while 39A is down for changes would wipe out most Falcon launch capability for who knows how long. Counting on everything going exactly right is a well paved road to hell.
 Making a dual purpose site for Texas might cost a bit of money and time, but compared to revenue and credibility loss from both pads in Florida being unavailable for a few months for any reason, it would be minor.

SpaceX can't take 39A down for more than a month or two at a time, since they don't have any other options for for Crew, Heavy, and vertical integration. If they do add BFR there, it will have to be while F9 and Heavy are still operable off the pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: aero on 10/19/2017 02:45 AM
You might be reading too much into current approvals for stuff like number of launches. Maybe SpaceX just requested a number of launches based on their plans at the time and can request more. As for the noise levels in Boca Chica Village, doesn't it only have a few dozen people? It's not unrealistic to just pay everybody to move.

These problems could be solved for less than it would cost to add BFR capability to 39A.

Now that's a thought. If preferred, you could just move the whole village down the road, buildings and all. Or give the residents the choice of moving, house and all, or moving into a newly constructed house in the newly sited village. But there must be a reason that the village was sited where it is in the first place, and not at that location down the road. That reason may be harder to recreate at the new site down the road.

Hate to invoke "eminent domain" but the state could do that, as could the county most likely, and maybe even the village.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: wannamoonbase on 10/19/2017 03:01 AM
You might be reading too much into current approvals for stuff like number of launches. Maybe SpaceX just requested a number of launches based on their plans at the time and can request more. As for the noise levels in Boca Chica Village, doesn't it only have a few dozen people? It's not unrealistic to just pay everybody to move.

These problems could be solved for less than it would cost to add BFR capability to 39A.

Now that's a thought. If preferred, you could just move the whole village down the road, buildings and all. Or give the residents the choice of moving, house and all, or moving into a newly constructed house in the newly sited village. But there must be a reason that the village was sited where it is in the first place, and not at that location down the road. That reason may be harder to recreate at the new site down the road.

Hate to invoke "eminent domain" but the state could do that, as could the county most likely, and maybe even the village.

Eminent domain in Texas.  Good luck with that.

The easiest and most logical location for BFR is Florida. Existing facility, industry infrastructure and government payloads (which let’s face it, will pay for this vehicle) are all there. 

Boca Chica is at best a little pace to test it. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: su27k on 10/19/2017 05:12 AM
Rumors and SpaceX comments aside, I can't make sense out of the claims that Boca Chica isn't needed for Falcon. Adapting 39A to BFR can't be a minor thing and any incident at 40 while 39A is down for changes would wipe out most Falcon launch capability for who knows how long. Counting on everything going exactly right is a well paved road to hell.
 Making a dual purpose site for Texas might cost a bit of money and time, but compared to revenue and credibility loss from both pads in Florida being unavailable for a few months for any reason, it would be minor.

Not sure I understand the concern. If SpaceX does choose to fly BFR first from Boca Chica, then they don't need to convert 39A to BFR, at least not from the start. They can wait until BFR is mature enough to take commercial payload, this would reduce the need for Falcon 9 from the Cape.

And one would hope SpaceX can avoid blowing up Falcon pad in the future, especially after Falcon 9 design is frozen.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: biosehnsucht on 10/19/2017 07:45 AM

Eminent domain in Texas.  Good luck with that.

Oh, it happens frequently at the county / city / water district levels. Sometimes they really do something with it (like run a water main) but sometimes it's for some boondoggle that gets cancelled and then the entity that stole the land gets to pocket the profits from selling it for more money than they paid for it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: llanitedave on 10/19/2017 03:36 PM

But there must be a reason that the village was sited where it is in the first place, and not at that location down the road. That reason may be harder to recreate at the new site down the road.



That reason hasn't really existed since 1967.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bob the martian on 10/19/2017 03:39 PM

Eminent domain in Texas.  Good luck with that.

Oh, it happens frequently at the county / city / water district levels. Sometimes they really do something with it (like run a water main) but sometimes it's for some boondoggle that gets cancelled and then the entity that stole the land gets to pocket the profits from selling it for more money than they paid for it.

Yup.  I got eminent domained, but in my case the taking was legit (widening and regrading a road that had seen 11 fatal head-ons in a 3-year period, most within 300 yards of my house) and we were well compensated (they credited us with roadside frontage, even though technically it wasn't). 

But yeah, sketchy takings happen all the time.  Texas isn't immune to shenanigans. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/19/2017 03:59 PM
You might be reading too much into current approvals for stuff like number of launches. Maybe SpaceX just requested a number of launches based on their plans at the time and can request more. As for the noise levels in Boca Chica Village, doesn't it only have a few dozen people? It's not unrealistic to just pay everybody to move.

These problems could be solved for less than it would cost to add BFR capability to 39A.

Now that's a thought. If preferred, you could just move the whole village down the road, buildings and all. Or give the residents the choice of moving, house and all, or moving into a newly constructed house in the newly sited village. But there must be a reason that the village was sited where it is in the first place, and not at that location down the road. That reason may be harder to recreate at the new site down the road.

Hate to invoke "eminent domain" but the state could do that, as could the county most likely, and maybe even the village.

Eminent domain in Texas.  Good luck with that.

The easiest and most logical location for BFR is Florida. Existing facility, industry infrastructure and government payloads (which let’s face it, will pay for this vehicle) are all there. 

Boca Chica is at best a little pace to test it.

Yes, this.

Quote
These problems could be solved for less than it would cost to add BFR capability to 39A.

With the new downsized BFR, 39A is set up exactly for an LV of that size.  I think it's a pretty good bet that once it's flying, even just booster test with a dummy upper stage (because the reusable upper stage at it's most basic configuration, is still a whole space ship, and likely to be the longer pole of the two) will probably start a push for SLS cancellation, which would then set up a good chance SpaceX could lease 39B...which was also built for an LV of that size.

Remember, those pads were no small feats of construction when they were built.  Trying to do something like that at BC would be a major undertaking and expense...and far outside the scope of what they have purchased and planned for so far.    Building a drone ship or off shore platform that could launch such an LV...if they opted to go that route instead of a land pad... would be no small feat either.  And logistically more difficult than a land pad.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ClayJar on 10/19/2017 04:57 PM
With the new downsized BFR, 39A is set up exactly for an LV of that size.  I think it's a pretty good bet that once it's flying, even just booster test with a dummy upper stage (because the reusable upper stage at it's most basic configuration, is still a whole space ship, and likely to be the longer pole of the two) will probably start a push for SLS cancellation, which would then set up a good chance SpaceX could lease 39B...which was also built for an LV of that size.

From what Elon said in the Reddit AMA recently, it seems SpaceX may be approaching BFR development from the other direction.  Quoting from the thread here (the original source being the AMA):

A (Elon): Will be starting with a full-scale Ship doing short hops of a few hundred kilometers altitude and lateral distance. Those are fairly easy on the vehicle, as no heat shield is needed, we can have a large amount of reserve propellant and don't need the high area ratio, deep space Raptor engines.

Next step will be doing orbital velocity Ship flights, which will need all of the above. Worth noting that BFS is capable of reaching orbit by itself with low payload, but having the BF Booster increases payload by more than an order of magnitude. Earth is the wrong planet for single stage to orbit. No problemo on Mars.

If they start with just the Ship, then add the Booster later along, that would seem to imply a good bit of downtime to rework whatever pad their using to support each configuration.  If they do it on 39A, might that cause just the kind of schedule disruption that would make BC worthwhile as an additional launch site?  Alternately, might it make sense to do the development work from BC so 39A is not impacted?

Upgrading 39A just once and with full advantage of all the lessons learned during development would seem to be logical, and at least doing the Ship-only testing in BC before moving on to the integrated stack would seem within the realm of possibility.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: abaddon on 10/19/2017 05:03 PM
Doesn't SpaceX still have a lease at Spaceport America that they've done very little with?  How much buffer zone would they have to play with in that location?  Maybe it could be a replacement for McGregor for low-altitude Grasshopper-style hops of the BFS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/19/2017 05:07 PM
All BFR/BFS dev/testing will have to be done on coastal water areas because of the size.
I think this is statement of fact?

BC best place to do rapid change and test type dev.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/19/2017 05:31 PM
As for the noise levels in Boca Chica Village, doesn't it only have a few dozen people? It's not unrealistic to just pay everybody to move.

There are 2 issues.

1) Cost.  There are 40 houses in Boca Chica Village, and several hundred undeveloped lots (see map for details).  I suspect SpaceX could buy them all for around $5 million.  Some may think this is OK, but remember that SpaceX recently changed their plans to build BFR at Hawthorne because it would cost $2.5 million to move BFR from Hawthorne to the nearest sea port. Lowering costs is a key issue for SpaceX.

2) Availability.  Some people may not want to sell.

Hate to invoke "eminent domain" but the state could do that, as could the county most likely, and maybe even the village.

In Texas, it's illegal to use eminent domain for non-government use.  For example, they can use it widen a street, but they can't use it to benefit a private company like SpaceX.

This has been discussed previously on this thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/19/2017 05:50 PM
South Texas college takes part in discovery of neutron star explosion
http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/South-Texas-college-takes-part-in-discovery-of-12282879.php
Quote
Students at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy program, known as CGWA, helped crunch the data to confirm the gravitational waves, while the university’s Transient Optical Robotic Observatory of the South, or TOROS, participated in the optical confirmation of the gamma-ray burst.

“I hope the work of our faculty members and our students inspires young students ... to become aware of the kind of work we are doing, to become aware of the global impact of the research done at UTRGV,” said Soma Mukherjee, chair of the university’s physics department.

As scientists reveled in the discovery, astronomers and physicists at UTRGV gathered to recognize the school’s role in training world-class physicists in a region of the country that struggles with educational disparities and poverty rates above 30 percent. And yet the university is making a name for itself in the science community, as a proving grounds for aspiring scientists raised on the border.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: DreamyPickle on 10/19/2017 05:51 PM
As for the noise levels in Boca Chica Village, doesn't it only have a few dozen people? It's not unrealistic to just pay everybody to move.
There are 2 issues.

1) Cost.  There are 40 houses in Boca Chica Village, and several hundred undeveloped lots (see map for details).  I suspect SpaceX could buy them all for around $5 million.  Some may think this is OK, but remember that SpaceX recently changed their plans to build BFR at Hawthorne because it would cost $2.5 million to move BFR from Hawthorne to the nearest sea port. Lowering costs is a key issue for SpaceX.
I interpreted that as 2.5 million *for each trip*, not just once. Since they want to build many BFR that could turn into a large amount of money and it might increase at the whim of local politicians and bureaucrats.

People who are unwilling to leave might be persuaded to accept the noise and risk anyway. They might even enjoy watching launches :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kenp51d on 10/19/2017 06:09 PM
As for the noise levels in Boca Chica Village, doesn't it only have a few dozen people? It's not unrealistic to just pay everybody to move.

There are 2 issues.

1) Cost.  There are 40 houses in Boca Chica Village, and several hundred undeveloped lots (see map for details).  I suspect SpaceX could buy them all for around $5 million.  Some may think this is OK, but remember that SpaceX recently changed their plans to build BFR at Hawthorne because it would cost $2.5 million to move BFR from Hawthorne to the nearest sea port. Lowering costs is a key issue for SpaceX.

2) Availability.  Some people may not want to sell.

Hate to invoke "eminent domain" but the state could do that, as could the county most likely, and maybe even the village.

In Texas, it's illegal to use eminent domain for non-government use.  For example, they can use it widen a street, but they can't use it to benefit a private company like SpaceX.

This has been discussed previously on this thread.
If the price is right virtually anything is for sell. Unfortunately it seems those are mostly the wrong things, but that is for discussion on some other site.
Offer insane amounts $ and I'd bet they would sell. Still be way cheaper than other alternatives.

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/19/2017 06:52 PM

From what Elon said in the Reddit AMA recently, it seems SpaceX may be approaching BFR development from the other direction.  Quoting from the thread here (the original source being the AMA):

A (Elon): Will be starting with a full-scale Ship doing short hops of a few hundred kilometers altitude and lateral distance. Those are fairly easy on the vehicle, as no heat shield is needed, we can have a large amount of reserve propellant and don't need the high area ratio, deep space Raptor engines.

Next step will be doing orbital velocity Ship flights, which will need all of the above. Worth noting that BFS is capable of reaching orbit by itself with low payload, but having the BF Booster increases payload by more than an order of magnitude. Earth is the wrong planet for single stage to orbit. No problemo on Mars.

If they start with just the Ship, then add the Booster later along, that would seem to imply a good bit of downtime to rework whatever pad their using to support each configuration.  If they do it on 39A, might that cause just the kind of schedule disruption that would make BC worthwhile as an additional launch site?  Alternately, might it make sense to do the development work from BC so 39A is not impacted?

Upgrading 39A just once and with full advantage of all the lessons learned during development would seem to be logical, and at least doing the Ship-only testing in BC before moving on to the integrated stack would seem within the realm of possibility.


I hadn't seen that.  And so yea, perhaps I'm looking at it from the opposite end.  If they aren't putting the ship into orbit, and then through the riggers of EDL from orbit, then they could build a much more boilerplate stage and test it without it being the long pole it seemingly would be if they put it in orbit. 
I suppose a little like drop testing the Shuttle Enterprise before the booster ever lifted from the pad?

And in such a scenario, then I could a more plausible rationale for doing that at BC, as thrust wise it would be closer to FH, so perhaps it could fit within the existing EIS without too much heartburn?

Along that line of thought, I'd often pondered the ship being used as a SSTO vehicle for small payloads.  That perhaps that could be the F9 replacement for that small commercial comsat buisiness, where it just seems like launching a full Nova class stack for a sat that could launch on an EELV-small class LV just seems a bit overkill...even if fully reusable.  At least for payloads that could be released in LEO...don't know that it would have the capability to get anything to GTO.
As Elon said, it is a SSTO vehicle after all...just need a booster under it on Earth to get a significant payload.

However...all of that said...building a boiler plate, TPS-less flight test article ship first and launching it from BC would forego the optics and visuals of a big Nova-class rocket sitting on an Apollo/Shuttle pad at KSC...which I think could be needed to get SLS pushed out of the way sooner rather than later.  So there's still advantage to operating from CCAFS, IMO.  And I don't think that's lots on Elon.  Rather, I think that's part of the push to get hardware flying at such an optimistic time.

Of note, such a SSTO ship could possibly have test launches at CCAFS, but not at 39A.  They could conceivably launch from a flat pad.  After all, they would be launching just like that from the Moon or Mars... those would be rough, unprepared surfaces (at least in the first missions).
 Or maybe from a launch stand like they did in the 60's, where they could divert the thrust in a desired direction(s). 
LZ-1 is a nice big flat area with a surface made to handle the heat and thrust of rocket engines, and will have multiple "pads"...

But the booster will need 39A, and even if they do as Elon alludes to above with the Ship, they'll probably still build a Flight Test Article boosters and fire them up at 39A while doing that.  In that case, they could also put the FTA ship on the FTA booster, and then do fit checks and stack test where the ship comes back to LZ-1 after staging from the booster.  (I'd guess the booster will land on legs for awhile until they decide to try a launch-mount landing with it.)
And the FTA ship on the FTA booster, launching from 39A would then give Elon the optics he's looking for, even if it's not going to orbit yet.  It's still a Nova sized rocket taking off from KSC next to SLS.  Seeing it lift off the pad will be quite a media spectacle.


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cppetrie on 10/19/2017 07:00 PM
Does a BFS “launching” by itself with 3 sea-level raptors exceed noise levels specified in the EIS?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 10/19/2017 07:33 PM
Does a BFS “launching” by itself with 3 sea-level raptors exceed noise levels specified in the EIS?

Probably not, it would have less thrust than F9 and noise generally scales with thrust.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cppetrie on 10/19/2017 07:38 PM
Does a BFS “launching” by itself with 3 sea-level raptors exceed noise levels specified in the EIS?

Probably not, it would have less thrust than F9 and noise generally scales with thrust.
So, I got from Elon’s AMA that BFR/S development would start with the ship doing hops of various heights and distances. If true (and we have no reason to doubt him) and the ship generates less noise than F9, then it seems quite plausible they would start development work at BC. When they get to the point of adding the booster into the mix then who knows what direction they’ll go. Many things could be quite different by that point.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/19/2017 11:02 PM
People who are unwilling to leave might be persuaded to accept the noise and risk anyway. They might even enjoy watching launches :)

The FAA decides whether noise levels are too high for local residents. 

1) If the FAA says launching BFR from Boca Chica Beach is over the legal limit for Boca Chica Village,  then:
  a) SpaceX has to buy all the property in Boca Chica Village, or
  b) SpaceX has to launch BFR from an offshore platform a few miles away from Boca Chica Beach, or
  c) SpaceX doesn't launch BFR from Boca Chica.

My opinion: The FAA will say noise levels are too high, and SpaceX will use an offshore platform, i.e. 1b) above.

The offshore platform will still require many on-shore buildings, i.e. hangar, control center, payload processing facilities, Stargate tracking center, warehouse, office space, etc.  I also suspect they'll run electrical cables, fiber optics, and flexible pipe underwater from Boca Chica Beach to the launch platform.  The pipe would be used for propellant, so they would still have on-shore propellant tanks.  And if saltwater wont work for a deluge system, they would still need an on-shore water tower.

So the offshore launch platform would be relatively small, like Elon showed at the end of the BFR presentation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 10/19/2017 11:10 PM
I don't think they can send deluge water through miles of pipe, so they would need a tower on the launch platform also.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 10/19/2017 11:13 PM
People who are unwilling to leave might be persuaded to accept the noise and risk anyway. They might even enjoy watching launches :)

The FAA decides whether noise levels are too high for local residents. 
>
My opinion: The FAA will say noise levels are too high, and SpaceX will use an offshore platform, i.e. 1b) above.
>

AIUI Falcon Heavy is already over the limit and FAA issued SpaceX a waiver.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: biosehnsucht on 10/20/2017 01:31 AM

In Texas, it's illegal to use eminent domain for non-government use.  For example, they can use it widen a street, but they can't use it to benefit a private company like SpaceX.

This has been discussed previously on this thread.

It's illegal to do it on the up and up, but if the government takes your land for a project, then that project gets cancelled - they still own the land, and can sell it to someone else, they don't have to give it back to you (and if the land was since demolished and you moved elsewhere, it's not much good to you anyways). It's hard to get away with these days thanks to the Internet, though it's happened in the past (but a bit hard to prove intentional corruption versus just poor planning, as there's plenty of both to go around).

In the case of ED'ing homes to hand over the property to SpaceX, well - that would be pretty obvious and I wouldn't think it would have a chance of succeeding.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: CuddlyRocket on 10/20/2017 03:41 AM
Remember, those pads were no small feats of construction when they were built.  Trying to do something like that at BC would be a major undertaking and expense...and far outside the scope of what they have purchased and planned for so far.    Building a drone ship or off shore platform that could launch such an LV...if they opted to go that route instead of a land pad... would be no small feat either.  And logistically more difficult than a land pad.

The visualisation of BFR used as P2P transport - which Elon's comments since suggests is an actual goal - showed the use of a drone ship or off-shore platform. Test as you mean to fly is a well-known aerospace mantra, so although presumably testing of the BFS and BFR will start on land, they'll need to progress to using such an experimental launch facility at some point.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/20/2017 10:19 AM
I don't think they can send deluge water through miles of pipe, so they would need a tower on the launch platform also.

So are they planning some type of saltwater deluge system?

Or is the offshore BFR launch platform Elon showed in the presentation just notional?

In any case, if they do use a fixed platform a few miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, they would still need some infrastructure at the current launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 10/20/2017 10:48 AM
It's got to be just notional in the same way as the Mars City is just notional. I think it's to highlight the capability of the vehicles and what could be possible.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 10/20/2017 10:52 AM
I would think an elevated platform, similar to an oil rig, would make more sense for a permanent point-to-point launch complex.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RDMM2081 on 10/20/2017 06:59 PM
Why is it obvious that deluge freshwater can't be actively delivered via pipeline?  Or having a freshwater tank on the platform is at least 100% viable, artist impression promotional videos do not rule that out.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ClayJar on 10/20/2017 08:18 PM
Why is it obvious that deluge freshwater can't be actively delivered via pipeline?  Or having a freshwater tank on the platform is at least 100% viable, artist impression promotional videos do not rule that out.

Deluge system water towers are built quite close to the pad, and the pipes connecting everything are quite large because you need to get a considerable quantity of water moving quite rapidly just when you need it.  Having a large quantity of water almost 90m/300ft high right at the pad means you can get the flow you need for a large deluge system, and then you refill the water tower at more normal rates.

In order to have the flow rate you'd need for a water deluge pipeline, the pipe has to be of considerable size (39A has six 48-inch valves -- 7 m2 of total cross-sectional area -- which together handle the flow).  To go from shore to an offshore Texas launch site, it would be miles/kilometers long.  That means you would have a huge mass of water (7 million liters per kilometer) you'd have to accelerate right at launch from a complete stop to full flow velocity, and that's just not at all practical.  Far more logical would seem to be building a water tower into the launch tower on your marine BFR pad.  Then you could fill it with a more normal pipeline using a steady flow, with the integral water tower providing the buffer for the launch deluge.

Getting back to Texas launch site discussion, however, since this is the BC thread, not another BFR thread (yet ;D), can someone refresh my memory regarding deluge water?  It's been a while since I read the EIS and other documents.  Wasn't the plan as documented there to truck in water for the deluge system, at least as one option?  For the capacity of 39A's water tower, that'd be around 50 of the large tanker semis.  I believe recycling deluge water was also in there, yes?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IainMcClatchie on 10/20/2017 09:39 PM
Water in these quantities is really heavy.  39A's deluge system holds 1135 tonnes of water.

To achieve insensitivity to waves, semisubmersibles have relatively small cross sections though the water line.  That also means large changes in load (say, a 4000 tonne rocket and 1100 tonnes of water suddenly going away) require large vertical displacements.

Also, that tank is going to have to be high up, leading to a large overturning moment.

Sealaunch somehow dealt with this problem.  They even launched off the side of the platform rather than the center.  Their barge must have been really, really big relative to the rocket.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 10/20/2017 09:50 PM
Water in these quantities is really heavy.  39A's deluge system holds 1135 tonnes of water.

To achieve insensitivity to waves, semisubmersibles have relatively small cross sections though the water line.  That also means large changes in load (say, a 4000 tonne rocket and 1100 tonnes of water suddenly going away) require large vertical displacements.

Also, that tank is going to have to be high up, leading to a large overturning moment.

Sealaunch somehow dealt with this problem.  They even launched off the side of the platform rather than the center.  Their barge must have been really, really big relative to the rocket.

It appears Sealaunch used a saltwater deluge system. And the platform was a converted oil rig, very stable.

https://spaceflightnow.com/sealaunch/xm1/010108abort_qt.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/20/2017 09:55 PM
I don't think they can send deluge water through miles of pipe, so they would need a tower on the launch platform also.
(emphasis mine)

Why is it obvious that deluge freshwater can't be actively delivered via pipeline?  Or having a freshwater tank on the platform is at least 100% viable, artist impression promotional videos do not rule that out.

For a freshwater deluge system, Jcc just said they would need a another water tower on the launch platform.

So I think all 3 of us are talking about some type of underwater pipeline from Boca Chica Beach to the launch pad a few miles offshore.

... semisubmersibles have relatively small cross sections though the water line.  That also means large changes in load (say, a 4000 tonne rocket and 1100 tonnes of water suddenly going away) require large vertical displacements.
I'm assuming a fixed offshore pad, not floating.  The ocean floor is shallow for miles off Boca Chica Beach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/20/2017 10:02 PM
It appears Sealaunch used a saltwater deluge system.

No problem for expendable rockets, but how would all that saltwater steam affect the Raptor engines on the BFR booster?  Aren't some of the metals they use in Raptor affected by saltwater?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/20/2017 10:33 PM
I'm assuming a fixed offshore pad, not floating.  The ocean floor is shallow for miles off Boca Chica Beach.

To help quantify this, I Googled "map of ocean depths" and found this.
https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=5ae9e138a17842688b0b79283a4353f6

As an example, for a launch pad 5 miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, the ocean is just 22 meters (72 feet) deep.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 10/20/2017 11:05 PM
It appears Sealaunch used a saltwater deluge system.

No problem for expendable rockets, but how would all that saltwater steam affect the Raptor engines on the BFR booster?  Aren't some of the metals they use in Raptor affected by saltwater?

There's a reason they stopped water landings (besides the tipping over part)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/20/2017 11:24 PM
...can someone refresh my memory regarding deluge water?  It's been a while since I read the EIS and other documents.  Wasn't the plan as documented there to truck in water for the deluge system, at least as one option?  For the capacity of 39A's water tower, that'd be around 50 of the large tanker semis.  I believe recycling deluge water was also in there, yes?

From the EIS:
Quote
"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."

I think a well is more likely for deluge system.  For potable water, they may have to truck it in.  The well water has impurities that would require treatment for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc., but those impurities would be no issue for a deluge system.

Getting back to Texas launch site discussion, however, since this is the BC thread, not another BFR thread (yet ;D), ...

For the Texas launch site, the main questions now are:
1) Will they ever launch F9/FH from there, or will they go straight to BFR?
2) Will they launch BFR from land, or from platform a few miles offshore?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/20/2017 11:48 PM

For the Texas launch site, the main questions now are:
1) Will they ever launch F9/FH from there, or will they go straight to BFR?
2) Will they launch BFR from land, or from platform a few miles offshore?

Just the tests of BFS is my vote.
And real launch(booster and ship) from 39A.
That leaves where are they going to test the booster? It seems to much noise for BC. So maybe they will static fire the booster on 39A.

OTOH RGV may want the business bad enough to push thru the necessary amendments to allow the booster and ship to be tested and launched from BC.

I think the platform is more down the road from either of the above possibilities.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/21/2017 12:09 AM
Isn't the 3 sl raptor and 4 vac raptor less than a f9?
It can't use the vac raptor on liftoff.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/21/2017 12:12 AM
Remember, those pads were no small feats of construction when they were built.  Trying to do something like that at BC would be a major undertaking and expense...and far outside the scope of what they have purchased and planned for so far.    Building a drone ship or off shore platform that could launch such an LV...if they opted to go that route instead of a land pad... would be no small feat either.  And logistically more difficult than a land pad.

The visualisation of BFR used as P2P transport - which Elon's comments since suggests is an actual goal - showed the use of a drone ship or off-shore platform. Test as you mean to fly is a well-known aerospace mantra, so although presumably testing of the BFS and BFR will start on land, they'll need to progress to using such an experimental launch facility at some point.

Yes, but I didn't say it couldn't be done, just that it's no small feat...and logistically more difficult than a land pad.  Propellants would all need to be on board, it would all need to be done remotely (there can't be wires from the drone ship to anywhere else, it'd have to be done wireless.  Doable but adding another layer of logistical difficulty than a hard wired land pad).
SeaLaunch used a ship and an old oil platform to launch just a Zenit rocket.  And as I understand that was challenging, and they went bankrupt in 2009.  Not saying that'd be the same as SpaceX doing it, but that there'd be additional challenges vs. a typical land facility.

And I don't think there'd be anything like that PTP for quite some time, for several reasons.  I think that's more typical Elon optimistic ambition of what could be possible to give flair to a presentation.  Not so much what's plausible in the near term.  Like the Mars base that other mentioned.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 12:22 AM
Isn't the 3 sl raptor and 4 vac raptor less than a f9?
It can't use the vac raptor on liftoff.

Doesn't matter.  The wording of the current EIS doesn't allow BFS test flights. See here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1738051#msg1738051) for details.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/21/2017 12:24 AM

For the Texas launch site, the main questions now are:
1) Will they ever launch F9/FH from there, or will they go straight to BFR?
2) Will they launch BFR from land, or from platform a few miles offshore?

Well, I think there's also the real question of will they ever launch anything from there?  I think it could be relegated more to a contingency backup, with the mail goal of getting SLS cancelled and access to pad 39B as well as other KSC assets, to be able to set up shop for BFR/BFR in earnest at KSC.  If that falls through, then I think BC is a fall back...or at least a threat to the Space Coast to help broker the deals SpaceX wants.

Because really if they want to do a platform a few miles offshore, there's really no reason they couldn't do that at the Cape too...even as a backup.  There's the Turn Basin at KSC as well as Port Canaveral to operate out of.  Even if things don't fall into place at KSC the way I think Elon's hoping they will, they will still have two pads at the Cape, so there's advantages to centralize there , rather than break off BFR to Texas.  So Elon's main plans would have to fall through, and those at the Cape would have to hose secondary plans of staging BFR in some other way at the Cape, I think, before BFR goes to BC. 
In such an event, they could move Falcon off 39A so that it would be dedicated to BFR to allow better operations there, and then they may want a secondary East Coast Falcon pad, in which case BC could be a Falcon Pad.  Less desirable of course than getting 39B, but I'm sure SpaceX has various plans just in case.  For now, I think BC is on hold while they see how things develop politically as BFR/BFS starts to get built and moves towards test flights.  So they know if they need to do anything at BC, and if so, what?
If SpaceX gets 39B and SLS is cancelled as I think Elon's hoping, I don't think there will be a Falcon pad at BC, and no real reason to try to force BFR there around all of the exclusions zones and environmental issues.  IMHO.



Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 12:35 AM
Well, I think there's also the real question of will they ever launch anything from there?

Yes, that's also possible, but I think it's unlikely.

Remember the culture of SpaceX.  They want to be in control of their own destiny.  The Texas launch site represents a clean sheet. SpaceX can set it up however they want. The cape is sort of the opposite of that.

Also, as I've said before, the cost of living in the Brownsville are is one of the lowest in the nation. Real-estate and taxes are also dirt-cheap. And Texas has already built the Stargate tracking center for free.  These things affect launch costs.

And there's also Gwynne's comments from Stanford, which imply they'll launch BFR from Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: freddo411 on 10/21/2017 05:04 AM
Isn't the 3 sl raptor and 4 vac raptor less than a f9?
It can't use the vac raptor on liftoff.

Doesn't matter.  The wording of the current EIS doesn't allow BFS test flights. See here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1738051#msg1738051) for details.

Perhaps.   

What triggers the need for a EIS?  The F9 flying today is different than the one flying during the original EIS in 2014.  Does that mean a new EIS is needed?

In this case perhaps not.   THe EIS is simply a description of the impact under given circumstances.   Those assumption may turn out to be incorrect.   Consider an airport's EIS.   What if additional flights are added? or subtracted?  Presumably the EIS would be different, but the underlying action (approval for construction of the airport) does not change.

Or this language might apply:
 A limited number of federal actions may avoid the EA and EIS requirements under NEPA if they meet the criteria for a categorical exclusion (CATEX). A CATEX is usually permitted when a course of action is identical or very similar to a past course of action and the impacts on the environment from the previous action can be assumed for the proposed action

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 12:07 PM
I think Nomadd said it the best.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1720947#msg1720947
Quote
I doubt they're trying to slip a whole new class of rocket in with a line vaguely referring to suborbital tests.

To be clear, I'm not saying the FAA wouldn't approve BFS test flights from Boca Chica Beach.  In fact, I think they would.

I'm just saying that SpaceX would need to get additional approvals from the FAA to do so.  The current EIS wording clearly doesn't allow any sub-orbital test vehicles bigger than Falcon 9, or anything with more than 6,900 gallons of propellant.

I'm also saying that, in order for SpaceX to get the additional FAA approvals for BFS test flights, as part of that process, the FAA would require a public comment period, and we haven't seen this yet.

Again this is just for BFS test flights.  The full BFR/BFS stack is a different story.  I think that will be way over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village, so the FAA won't allow full BFR launches from Boca Chica Beach, hence the need for an offshore platform.  The good news is that 5 miles off Boca Chica Beach, the ocean is only 72 feet deep.

And like Lobo, I also think they'll fly BFR from the cape first, but I think they'll launch BFR from Boca Chica eventually.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 10/21/2017 01:19 PM
They are going to need multiple launch sites for flight rate and redundancy. I think they will build a F9/FH capable pad there as soon as they are done with all the repairs and upgrades to 40 and 39A.

And I am tending to agree that an offshore pad for BFR would be a great way to go, although a bit expensive to build initially. It would hopefully sidestep all issues with noise, safety, environmental, and beach closures. They can run power, fiber and water out to the platform. For that matter, they could probably sink a well directly below the platform and get fresh water for deluge. If they are lucky they might even get methane ;D

The logistics of getting the rocket, supplies and personnel out to the platform in an efficient manner need to worked out. They would need a hangar and processing facility with access to the water so they can load BFR onto a barge and be carried out to the platform. For the first several years they will want to process mate and inspect  BFR in a dry and secure location. It will be a while before even the booster is "gas 'n' go".
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 01:50 PM
If they are lucky they might even get methane ;D

Here's an interesting tidbit:

Campirano: Elon Musk may have bigger plans for Boca Chica
http://riograndeguardian.com/campirano-elon-musk-may-have-bigger-plans-for-boca-chica/
Quote
“They are moving forward with plans for Boca Chica... If there are any changes to that it will be potentially be because something else is going on. We are excited to see that (the International Astronautical Congress) going on. And then, of course, the university (UTRGV) is starting to do some of the preliminary work on Stargate (at Boca Chica). All that stuff goes hand in hand.”

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 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 02:09 PM
They would need a hangar and processing facility with access to the water so they can load BFR onto a barge and be carried out to the platform.

The Port of Brownsville (http://www.portofbrownsville.com/) is a world class deepwater sea port.  It regularly hosts aircraft carriers, oil drilling rigs, and huge container ships.

There's plenty of undeveloped land along the sea channel (see 3rd picture below).

The channel exits into the ocean just a few miles from Boca Chica Beach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/21/2017 02:13 PM

For the Texas launch site, the main questions now are:
1) Will they ever launch F9/FH from there, or will they go straight to BFR?
2) Will they launch BFR from land, or from platform a few miles offshore?

Well, I think there's also the real question of will they ever launch anything from there?  I think it could be relegated more to a contingency backup, with the mail goal of getting SLS cancelled and access to pad 39B as well as other KSC assets, to be able to set up shop for BFR/BFR in earnest at KSC.  If that falls through, then I think BC is a fall back...or at least a threat to the Space Coast to help broker the deals SpaceX wants.

Because really if they want to do a platform a few miles offshore, there's really no reason they couldn't do that at the Cape too...even as a backup.  There's the Turn Basin at KSC as well as Port Canaveral to operate out of.  Even if things don't fall into place at KSC the way I think Elon's hoping they will, they will still have two pads at the Cape, so there's advantages to centralize there , rather than break off BFR to Texas.  So Elon's main plans would have to fall through, and those at the Cape would have to hose secondary plans of staging BFR in some other way at the Cape, I think, before BFR goes to BC. 
In such an event, they could move Falcon off 39A so that it would be dedicated to BFR to allow better operations there, and then they may want a secondary East Coast Falcon pad, in which case BC could be a Falcon Pad.  Less desirable of course than getting 39B, but I'm sure SpaceX has various plans just in case.  For now, I think BC is on hold while they see how things develop politically as BFR/BFS starts to get built and moves towards test flights.  So they know if they need to do anything at BC, and if so, what?
If SpaceX gets 39B and SLS is cancelled as I think Elon's hoping, I don't think there will be a Falcon pad at BC, and no real reason to try to force BFR there around all of the exclusions zones and environmental issues.  IMHO.
Theyll launch BFR from Boca Chica. I don't understand your skepticism in spite of all the stuff SpaceX has said.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cuddihy on 10/21/2017 03:09 PM
I believe they will have to keep doing Something at Boca Chica or they will have to pay back their $15M in tax credits from the state of Texas.

As the cost of building a launch pad for BFS and operating the test regime there is probably less than that bill, I think they will at least do that...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 10/21/2017 04:32 PM
I'm assuming a fixed offshore pad, not floating.  The ocean floor is shallow for miles off Boca Chica Beach.

To help quantify this, I Googled "map of ocean depths" and found this.
https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=5ae9e138a17842688b0b79283a4353f6

As an example, for a launch pad 5 miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, the ocean is just 22 meters (72 feet) deep.

Always been a proponent of offshore launch, especially when we thought the BFR was a lot bigger than Nova class.  What's also interesting is look off the coast of Cape Canaveral where the depth of the shallow Chester Shoal is even less 10+ miles out.  Hmmmmm.

Anchoring a platform in shallow seas makes more economical sense than an exotic floating platform.  Such anchored platforms are called jackup rigs.  "The greatest water depth a jackup can drill in is 550 feet"  So, easy 100 foot or so rigs are on the "easy do" state of the art.

https://info.drillinginfo.com/offshore-rigs-primer-offshore-drilling/
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 04:35 PM
I believe they will have to keep doing Something at Boca Chica or they will have to pay back their $15M in tax credits from the state of Texas.

Tax credits?

SpaceX hasn't yet paid much of any taxes for Boca Chica, certainly not $15M, so there's no way they could have gotten $15M in tax credits.

A tax credit is where the government says you don't have to pay as much taxes as you would normally. 

For example, let's say you make $100K and pay $20K in taxes.  A tax credit of $5K means you only have to pay $15K in taxes.  But if you only made $10K that year, and didn't pay any taxes, a tax credit of $5K is meaningless.

Another example, as an incentive for a company to locate a new facility in their state, a state government offers a company $10M in tax credits over the next 10 years.  That means that over the next 10 years, the company will pay $10M less in total taxes than they would have normally, which probably means $1M a year less in state corporate taxes.  The state hasn't given the company any money directly.  If the company fails to locate the facility there, they owe the state nothing.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/21/2017 04:59 PM
They did spend about $3 million on the highway.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cuddihy on 10/21/2017 05:14 PM
Some tax credits are re-sellable to other companies and serve effectively as assets. I don't know if the SpaceX tax credits were of this type, but I was relying on some articles that stated SpaceX was getting up to $15M in Texas tax credits to launch from Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 05:43 PM
They did spend about $3 million on the highway.

The Feds also put up $1.2 million for Stargate.

If SpaceX decides not to use Boca Chica, local residents will still have much nicer roads, and UTRGV will still have a cutting edge radio astronomy site away from all the clutter of the city.

To be clear, I do think SpaceX will launch from Boca Chica.  Gwynne's comments at Stanford heavily imply that.  And I think SpaceX still believes a private launch site will significantly lower launch costs.  Plus there the issue of contending for launch windows at the cape and vandy, and all the red tape that goes with launching from a military base.  And if you look at the history of SpaceX, they usually end up doing what they say, although it's usually been late. 

But for the people on this thread that are speculating SpaceX will pull out, I have to admit there's not a lot holding them to a Texas launch site.  If SpaceX were really in love with the cape, they could have 3 pads there.


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: starsilk on 10/21/2017 05:59 PM
Water in these quantities is really heavy.  39A's deluge system holds 1135 tonnes of water.

To achieve insensitivity to waves, semisubmersibles have relatively small cross sections though the water line.  That also means large changes in load (say, a 4000 tonne rocket and 1100 tonnes of water suddenly going away) require large vertical displacements.

Also, that tank is going to have to be high up, leading to a large overturning moment.

Sealaunch somehow dealt with this problem.  They even launched off the side of the platform rather than the center.  Their barge must have been really, really big relative to the rocket.
Water towers are the easy way to get pressure on land. At sea, with a possibility of tipping, simply set the tank down low or even underwater and pressurize it.

They are after all a rocket company. Pressurized tanks is their thing..

Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 07:18 PM
... semisubmersibles have relatively small cross sections though the water line...
At sea, with a possibility of tipping, simply set the tank down low or even underwater and pressurize it.

Again, for a launch platform 5-miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, the ocean is only 72 feet deep.

No need for a semi-submersible like SeaLaunch.  Use a fixed launch platform with a rigid structure attaching it directly to the sea floor.  No issue with weight changes tipping it over.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: starsilk on 10/21/2017 07:22 PM
... semisubmersibles have relatively small cross sections though the water line...
At sea, with a possibility of tipping, simply set the tank down low or even underwater and pressurize it.

Again, for a launch platform 5-miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, the ocean is only 72 feet deep.

No need for a semi-submersible like SeaLaunch.  Use a fixed launch platform with a rigid structure attaching it directly to the sea floor.  No issue with weight changes tipping it over.
They may want it low or submerged to avoid weather issues or interference issues with the vehicle. It can't be positioned a decent distance away unless they build two platforms.

Sent from my BLN-L24 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 10/21/2017 07:33 PM
... semisubmersibles have relatively small cross sections though the water line...
At sea, with a possibility of tipping, simply set the tank down low or even underwater and pressurize it.

Again, for a launch platform 5-miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, the ocean is only 72 feet deep.

No need for a semi-submersible like SeaLaunch.  Use a fixed launch platform with a rigid structure attaching it directly to the sea floor.  No issue with weight changes tipping it over.

It might be most economical and practical to use 2 or more standard jack barges and place them adjacent to one another, to guarantee a safe distance for the propellant tanks, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/21/2017 08:46 PM
They may want it low or submerged to avoid weather issues or interference issues with the vehicle. It can't be positioned a decent distance away unless they build two platforms.

Not sure what you mean by weather issues.  If anything, a water tower would provide better lightning protection.

As for interference issues with the vehicle, remember that the whole BFR pad concept relies on pinpoint landings right back on the launch pad, which is right next to the launch tower/crane.

In fact, looking at the rendering of the offshore pad Elon presented at IAC, I'm starting to wonder if this is more than just notional.  Could the launch tower/gantry also serve as a water tower?  If the flame duct is somehow routed underwater, and assuming sound is not an issue for an offshore pad, how much deluge water would they need?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 10/21/2017 09:55 PM
Regarding all the hand-wringing about if SpaceX will pull out of Boca Chica, are they still buying property?  It seems like Dave G updates his maps every few weeks with new parcels being picked up by Dogleg Park.  I really don't see them pulling out.  At the most, SpaceX may alter the pad design a bit to allow handling launch mounts for both Falcon/Falcon-Heavy and the BFR.  Even if they never launch the BFR from the ground based pad, it won't cost them that much more to make the concrete structures able to accommodate it even if the support infrastructure is not all in place.

As for all of the talk about offshore platforms, except for those specifically about offshore at Boca Chica, that discussion seems to belong in the "BFR ASDS" thread over in the reusable rockets section.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Comga on 10/21/2017 10:29 PM
I'm assuming a fixed offshore pad, not floating.  The ocean floor is shallow for miles off Boca Chica Beach.

To help quantify this, I Googled "map of ocean depths" and found this.
https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=5ae9e138a17842688b0b79283a4353f6 (https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=5ae9e138a17842688b0b79283a4353f6)

As an example, for a launch pad 5 miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, the ocean is just 22 meters (72 feet) deep.

Always been a proponent of offshore launch, especially when we thought the BFR was a lot bigger than Nova class.  What's also interesting is look off the coast of Cape Canaveral where the depth of the shallow Chester Shoal is even less 10+ miles out.  Hmmmmm.

Anchoring a platform in shallow seas makes more economical sense than an exotic floating platform.  Such anchored platforms are called jackup rigs.  "The greatest water depth a jackup can drill in is 550 feet"  So, easy 100 foot or so rigs are on the "easy do" state of the art.

https://info.drillinginfo.com/offshore-rigs-primer-offshore-drilling/ (https://info.drillinginfo.com/offshore-rigs-primer-offshore-drilling/)
 

Isn't that a jackup rig at the Port of Brownsville in the post three above yours? (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1740528#msg1740528)  The legs look way taller than 72'.


PS  I am really looking forward to this thread returning to news about construction at Boca Chica.  It's been a while.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: mto on 10/21/2017 11:21 PM
PS  I am really looking forward to this thread returning to news about construction at Boca Chica.  It's been a while.
Me too. Maybe it's time for an updates only thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 10/21/2017 11:33 PM
PS  I am really looking forward to this thread returning to news about construction at Boca Chica.  It's been a while.
Me too. Maybe it's time for an updates only thread.

Yep, and with construction likely starting soon, we'll need 2 different threads to not drown out info with discussions
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: midnightrider3000 on 10/22/2017 02:43 AM
PS  I am really looking forward to this thread returning to news about construction at Boca Chica.  It's been a while.
Me too. Maybe it's time for an updates only thread.

I'll Fourth that!

or a separate off-shore only tread
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 10/22/2017 03:11 AM
PS  I am really looking forward to this thread returning to news about construction at Boca Chica.  It's been a while.
Me too. Maybe it's time for an updates only thread.

I'll Fourth that!

or a separate off-shore only tread

Make it 5, and IMO there's already a BFR ASDS thread offshore could fit into.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43858.0
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/22/2017 05:37 AM
PS  I am really looking forward to this thread returning to news about construction at Boca Chica.  It's been a while.
Me too. Maybe it's time for an updates only thread.

Yep, and with construction likely starting soon, we'll need 2 different threads to not drown out info with discussions


I 100% agreee with you all
They be on the BFR talk on here since
Sept 29th.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/22/2017 11:13 AM
 An update thread might be good when there are more updates than stray comments and tweets. The official NSF beach bum will be back in Boca Chica around mid November, assuming he escapes Istanbul tomorrow.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: BadgerLegs on 10/22/2017 03:37 PM
I skimmed through about 100 posts and didn't notice if anybody had made this case:  The launch pad at Boca Chica can be built as a BFR pad from day one with the ability to launch F9 and FH as well.  There is absolutely no reason you can't do this from the ground up at this point.  The flame trench just needs to be big enough, right?

I remember reading about how Arianespace was whining that they needed to be able to launch their Ariane 6 with the same infrastructure as Ariane 5.  I didn't follow the earlier debate, but did Ariane 5 have to use the same infrastructure as Ariane 4?  If, maybe, somebody had built a little room for expansion into the infrastructure, Ariane 6 could have been the size of the BFR if they'd wanted it that way.  Instead, they have to either rebuild their current pad or build an entirely new one all because of the two extra Solid Rocket Boosters.

The VAB at Kennedy was built large enough to allow for larger rockets and Pad 39A sure is big enough for BFR Lite as it is now, right?

BTW, I got the free puppy.  She was well-mannered and responded to commands.  You left the collar and tags on her, so I just got new ones.  My complaint is that some neighbor kids came over crying about how they'd lost their dog that happened to look identical to the one you dropped off.  I took one for the team and let them keep your puppy.  I'll miss her.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/22/2017 04:15 PM
I skimmed through about 100 posts and didn't notice if anybody had made this case:  The launch pad at Boca Chica can be built as a BFR pad from day one with the ability to launch F9 and FH as well.
BFR will probably be way over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village.  This has been mentioned in many posts.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 10/22/2017 04:22 PM
I skimmed through about 100 posts and didn't notice if anybody had made this case:  The launch pad at Boca Chica can be built as a BFR pad from day one with the ability to launch F9 and FH as well.
BFR will probably be way over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village.  This has been mentioned in many posts.

A flame trench does not make any noise.

They can at least do BFS launches. They are well below FH thrust, sure low enough that they don't exceed the noise level like FH. So probably easy to get permission to at least launch them up to 12 times a year. That limit needs to go anyway if it is to become a long term viable launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/22/2017 04:41 PM
IMO there's already a BFR ASDS thread offshore could fit into.

ASDS is a completely different topic.  It's nothing like a fixed launch pad that's directly connected to the ocean floor, with electrical cables, fiber-optics, and propellant pipes running from Boca Chica Beach.  A fixed offshore pad is more like an island than a boat.

BFR will probably be over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village.  That makes a fixed launch site a few miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach a very real possibility.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/22/2017 04:57 PM
They can at least do BFS launches.
Not without additional approvals from the FAA.

The current EIS limits sub-orbital test flights from Boca Chica beach to nothing larger than F9, and nothing more than 6900 gallons of propellant.

They are well below FH thrust, sure low enough that they don't exceed the noise level like FH. So probably easy to get permission...
Yes, I think the FAA would allow BFS to launch from Boca Chica, but we haven't seen any sign that SpaceX has asked for this.

In order to get permission, the FAA would need to amend the EIS, which would require a public comment period.

In other words, we would know if SpaceX was asking permission to launch BFS from Boca Chica.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 10/22/2017 05:04 PM
Why would extension of permits for a vehicle that is well within approved thrust range, require a new EIS?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/22/2017 05:13 PM
Why would extension of permits for a vehicle that is well within approved thrust range, require a new EIS?

From 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) section ES.2.1
Quote
Within the 12 launch operations per year, SpaceX may elect to have permitted launches of smaller reusable suborbital launch vehicles from this proposed site.

From 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) section 2.1.1
Quote
The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles are described below... Regarding other reusable suborbital launch vehicles... such vehicles would be smaller than the Falcon 9 and may consist of the first stage of a Falcon 9.

From 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) section 2.1.1.2
Quote
Within the 12 launch operations per year, the Proposed Action also includes permitted launches of reusable suborbital launch vehicles. A reusable suborbital launch vehicle could consist of a Falcon 9 Stage 1 tank with a maximum propellant (LOX and RP-1) load of approximately 6,900 gal.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 10/22/2017 06:20 PM
I get it Dave...
The current EIS as signed off on and in force is very much tailored to F9/FH ops...

BUT...Things change...Plans change... The EIS can be redone... It likely will be soon... IMHO...  ;)

What does SpaceX need starting about a year from now ??...
Someplace to fly BFS 'grasshopper' regularly to retire the unknowns of it's aero flight envelope...
This is the FIRST thing they need... NET in about a year

BFR is a scaled up F9 S1... only unknown really is landing on the launch mount... accurately enough...
That can come later... NET 2 years out BFR 'grasshopper'

Much later... NET 3 years or so... Full up BFR/BFS orbital test flights... Ok...

NOW...
What does BC offer that KSC does not have...
1) They own it and have a willing partner in the State of Texas to make this work out...
2) Much less air and sea traffic off shore compared to KCS (a good place over water to flight test in other words)

Right now... there is NO sense thinking about off shore pads and such at this point in time... $$$$$
Maybe NET 5 years out... and if all the above works out... then think about spending the money on this...

The cheapest solution to SpaceX for 'grasshopper phase' is buy everyone out within 2 miles of the launch mount (or come to some agreement with each in writing) and get on with it...

Keep it simple... keep it on land... keep it on their land... low headcount... low expenses... do the test program.

JA...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 10/22/2017 06:27 PM
These are the same as my thoughts, also if not BC and assuming KSC is too busy then there aren't many other choices for BFR test site given

In US
East Cost
Low as latitude as possible
Low population, attached is pop density map.

Ok I'm done with BFR at BC until we get some actual updates :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/23/2017 11:26 AM
The cheapest solution to SpaceX for 'grasshopper phase' is buy everyone out within 2 miles of the launch mount (or come to some agreement with each in writing) and get on with it...

Keep it simple... keep it on land... keep it on their land... low headcount... low expenses... do the test program.

Yes, this is also a very real possibility, but there are issues:

1) Why only 2 miles?  I think BFR noise levels will be way over the legal limit for all the houses in Boca Chica Village. 

2) What if they don't want to sell?  In Texas, it's illegal to use eminent domain to benefit a private company.

3) Assuming they did want to sell, it would cost SpaceX $millions to buy all the houses and vacant lots in the area.

4) The current EIS only allows 12 launches a year. Yes, they can amend the EIS to raise this, but not to infinity.  They have to leave the beach open to the public most of the time. There's also a Texas state law that doesn't allow SpaceX to launch on weekends or holidays over the summer. Long-term, this will really limit SpaceX.  Remember that each Mars  mission requires 6 BFR launches, and the Mars window only opens for a short time every 2 years. So if they want to send 6 BFS spaceships to Mars, that's 36 launches crammed into short period of time, which probably would't be allowed.

5) Previously in this thread, we've discussed issues with soil stability at the current launch site.  It seems it's more shifty than they originally thought.  Some people have suggested they may need pilings up to 1000 feet deep to reach stable earth.  Not cheap.

6) To launch BFR or BFS from Boca Chica Beach, they'll need a way to get it there.  As I've mentioned before, they could build a new road from the Port of Brownsville seaport to the launch site, but again, not cheap.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/23/2017 12:24 PM
In US
East Cost
Low as latitude as possible
Low population, attached is pop density map.

And don't forget:
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 10/23/2017 02:07 PM
The cheapest solution to SpaceX for 'grasshopper phase' is buy everyone out within 2 miles of the launch mount (or come to some agreement with each in writing) and get on with it...

Keep it simple... keep it on land... keep it on their land... low headcount... low expenses... do the test program.

Yes, this is also a very real possibility, but there are issues:

1) Why only 2 miles?  I think BFR noise levels will be way over the legal limit for all the houses in Boca Chica Village. 

2) What if they don't want to sell?  In Texas, it's illegal to use eminent domain to benefit a private company.

3) Assuming they did want to sell, it would cost SpaceX $millions to buy all the houses and vacant lots in the area.

4) The current EIS only allows 12 launches a year. Yes, they can amend the EIS to raise this, but not to infinity.  They have to leave the beach open to the public most of the time. There's also a Texas state law that doesn't allow SpaceX to launch on weekends or holidays over the summer. Long-term, this will really limit SpaceX.  Remember that each Mars  mission requires 6 BFR launches, and the Mars window only opens for a short time every 2 years. So if they want to send 6 BFS spaceships to Mars, that's 36 launches crammed into short period of time, which probably would't be allowed.

5) Previously in this thread, we've discussed issues with soil stability at the current launch site.  It seems it's more shifty than they originally thought.  Some people have suggested they may need pilings up to 1000 feet deep to reach stable earth.  Not cheap.

6) To launch BFR or BFS from Boca Chica Beach, they'll need a way to get it there.  As I've mentioned before, they could build a new road from the Port of Brownsville seaport to the launch site, but again, not cheap.

John appears to be talking about suborbital test launches and landings of the upper stage only. That would be less noise than Falcon 9, not constrained by any launch windows, and probably very intermittent launches as they test and improve the vehicle. I don't see any showstoppers there.

Once SpaceX is launching BFR & BFS 10+ times a year, they will definitely need more pads than just Boca Chica. IMO they will put a second mount on 39A, and go up to about 15-20 per site per year - so a total of up to 30-40/yr.

After that they go offshore, either on fixed structures or semi-submersibles (or both). This is likely 10+ years away.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/23/2017 04:11 PM
John appears to be talking about suborbital test launches and landings of the upper stage only.
Then why would they need to buy any houses at all?  Just amend the EIS.

Or do BFS suborbital test launches from the cape. No EIS changes required.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 10/23/2017 05:30 PM
In US
East Cost
Low as latitude as possible
Low population, attached is pop density map.

And don't forget:

Absolutely. Vieques was discussed ages ago here before BC's selection.
I see a few major downsides. 
The cost for logistics support of an island site not a short sail from major ports (q.v. Miami). SpaceX is all about minimizing launch costs.  Launch crews would likely live in Puerto Rico. 
Flight path seems quite heavily constrained as you look at the many inhabited islands in the flight path.
Political and financial instability of Puerto Rico.  (probably a minor issue, but maybe not.  I don't know)

With Bezos money maybe buying out an entire island with an open downrange would be an option.  Mayaguana, The Bahamas.  Just a couple hundred live there. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: CraigLieb on 10/23/2017 08:48 PM
If we are discussing off shore platforms, why not just put it in the bay to the north of Kopernik (edit:corrected) Shores. Sheltered from the ocean somewhat, very shallow and can be placed close enough to shore to facilitate piping but far enough from population centers on all sides (2+ miles away from everybody?). It could be south and east of the shipping channel.

Or even on land along the land west of Del Mar beach. Say 2 miles north of current launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 10/23/2017 08:53 PM
If we are discussing off shore platforms, why not just put it in the bay to the north of kopernick shores. Sheltered from the ocean somewhat, very shallow and can be placed close enough to shore to facilitate piping but far enough from population centers on all sides (2+ miles away from everybody?). It could be south and east of the shipping channel.

Or even on land along the land west of Del Mar beach. Say 2 miles north of current launch site.

If it's going offshore they might as well go 20 miles out and reduce the noise issues. BFR is going to be breaking windows 5-10 miles away on a regular basis if they launch frequently.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: CraigLieb on 10/23/2017 09:25 PM
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.

We really need to get out (of this thread) more...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: tleski on 10/23/2017 09:29 PM
If we are discussing off shore platforms, why not just put it in the bay to the north of kopernick shores. Sheltered from the ocean somewhat, very shallow and can be placed close enough to shore to facilitate piping but far enough from population centers on all sides (2+ miles away from everybody?). It could be south and east of the shipping channel.

Or even on land along the land west of Del Mar beach. Say 2 miles north of current launch site.

Just a small nit. The correct spelling is Kopernik Shores (Polish spelling of Copernicus).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/24/2017 06:13 PM
 ::)While you all are still talking about the BFR since Sept 29th. Uhh I heard from a local resident about the second tracking dish.    “I passed by there this afternoon. The second dish is up. They are installing parts on it. I saw one man working on the satellite dish today.”  From Yesterday.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 10/24/2017 08:36 PM
AIUI those dishes are necessary for Crew Dragon under CCtCap so perhaps not too relevant to BFR/BFS, at least in the short-term.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Comga on 10/24/2017 08:46 PM
AIUI those dishes are necessary for Crew Dragon under CCtCap so perhaps not too relevant to BFR/BFS, at least in the short-term.

But this thread WAS about SpaceX at Boca Chica, not BFR/BFS.
It’s good to read about something happening in south Texas now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/24/2017 10:56 PM
AIUI those dishes are necessary for Crew Dragon under CCtCap so perhaps not too relevant to BFR/BFS, at least in the short-term.

Right.  The 2 dishes are to fulfill SpaceX's commercial crew contract with NASA. They will track Dragon 2 in orbit.

We don't know if they'll be used for anything else. The Stargate tracking center seems to be focused on a phased array system that can also be used for radio astronomy.

So it's quite possible the 2 dishes will only be used to track Dragons that launch from the cape, and not to track launches from Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/24/2017 11:36 PM
Like I said before uhh when SpaceX launches there Falcon Heavy rocket and then get there damaged LC-40 launch pad active ready for December. if that all goes well in just one month they are still planning to get it done before the end of the year.  So if it it’s all done by then we can see activity at Boca Chica late December and in 2018.   The 2 dishes are just the start kind of. That theory or speculation is still anticipated.   P.S local resident also said about the dish today  “Yes the dish is in place. A crane was parked next to it. There was a man up on it, installing some part.”
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: BadgerLegs on 10/25/2017 05:20 AM
AIUI those dishes are necessary for Crew Dragon under CCtCap so perhaps not too relevant to BFR/BFS, at least in the short-term.
But this thread WAS about SpaceX at Boca Chica, not BFR/BFS.
It’s good to read about something happening in south Texas now.
This thread IS about the SpaceX Texas Launch Site.  BFR is pertinent because Shotwell has stated that BFR is going to be launched there.  You can't talk about the launch site without talking about what it's going to launch.  If they build it from the ground-up to support F9, FH, and BFR, then that will mean something.  Knowing about BFR is important.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 10/25/2017 05:45 AM
So if it it’s all done by then we can see activity at Boca Chica late December and in 2018.

Give them their Christmas vacation. They have earned it. Expect activity early next year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/25/2017 06:26 AM
So if it it’s all done by then we can see activity at Boca Chica late December and in 2018.

Give them their Christmas vacation. They have earned it. Expect activity early next year.

Totally agree with you on that yea hopefully they do get a break after all that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/25/2017 01:02 PM
For everyone who just wants to see progress on the launch site at Boca Chica Beach, this may never happen.

Many have speculated that SpaceX will scrap plans to launch F9/FH from Texas, and go straight to a BFR pad there.  In this case, if the FAA says BFR is over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village, SpaceX may be forced to move the Texas launch site a few miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach.

We now have 3 different statements from SpaceX that could suggest they may never launch F9/FH from Boca Chica, and go straight to BFR.

1) From a SpaceX recruiter who spoke at Texas A&M University on Sept 5th. He said something like: "once Boca Chica construction ramps up, the focus will be specifically on the "Mars Vehicle."  This caused many on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6yft5s/multiple_updates_per_mcgregor_engineers/) and here to speculate that the Texas launch site will be specifically for BFR.

2) From Gwynne Shotwell's talk at Stanford on Oct 11th. She said that South Texas is the "perfect location for BFR", again causing folks on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/75ufq9/interesting_items_from_gwynne_shotwells_talk_at/) and on this thread to speculate that F9/FH will never launch from Boca Chica.

3) From SpaceX Senior Director Tom Ochinero who spoke at APSCC 2017 on Oct 11th (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/).  He suggested that they don't need the Texas launch site to satisfy their current and future manifest of F9/FH comsat launches.

Yes, all of these statements could be interpreted differently.  But if SpaceX has BFR Mars missions by 2024, they'll probably also be able to launch comsats by then, which means F9/FH from Boca Chica would only be used for around 6 years.  Not a good return on investment.

And we already know that FH is slightly over the legal sound limit for Boca Chica Village, but the FAA made an exception because FH is just slightly over the limit, and SpaceX offered to hand out ear plugs to all local residents.  Since BFR is a much larger rocket, it will probably be way over the legal sound limit, in which case the FAA will have no choice but to deny SpaceX's request to launch BFR from Boca Chica Beach.

So it's quite possible that SpaceX will never build a launch pad at Boca Chica Beach, and move straight to fixed launch site a few miles offshore from there.  In this case, they may still use the current Boca Chica Beach site to store propellant, deluge water, etc., and run electrical cables, fiber-optics, and flexible propellant pipes out to a launch platform that's directly attached to the ocean floor.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/25/2017 01:41 PM
Or ditch BC completely for anything orbital and use 39A which would be cheaper than an offshore platform.
BC could be used for engine testing, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: woods170 on 10/25/2017 02:02 PM
Or ditch BC completely for anything orbital and use 39A which would be cheaper than an offshore platform.
BC could be used for engine testing, etc.

Unlikely given that they already have McGregor for that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 10/25/2017 02:10 PM
Or ditch BC completely for anything orbital and use 39A which would be cheaper than an offshore platform.
BC could be used for engine testing, etc.

Unlikely given that they already have McGregor for that.

McGregor doesn't work for integrated vehicle tests.
1. structural test article.
2. all engine static test fire.
3. short hops
4. many more than I can think of?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 10/25/2017 02:39 PM
For everyone who just wants to see progress on the launch site at Boca Chica Beach, this may never happen.
You seem to be trolling, the bulk of your message does not support it's initial premise, and you purposely muddle the difference between a 'launch site' and 'launch pad'.

Quote
1) From a SpaceX recruiter who spoke at Texas A&M University on Sept 5th. He said something like: "once Boca Chica construction ramps up, the focus will be specifically on the "Mars Vehicle."
Quote
2) From Gwynne Shotwell's talk at Stanford on Oct 11th. She said that South Texas is the "perfect location for BFR"

These points directly contradict your premise and strongly imply that SpaceX still intends to build a launch site at Boca Chica. Whether that site includes F9/FH or not, or whether BFR/BFS launches on shore or off, affect only the details of what will be built. We've seen no indications that SpaceX doesn't intend to build at Boca Chica, particularly since progress has still been advancing, with fencing, signage, crane parts, etc.

Previous statements by SpaceX have indicated that progress on the Boca Chica site would ramp up once both Pad-40 and Pad-39A were at full operational status, which is commonly expected to be the end of this year. Where is the evidence otherwise?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 10/25/2017 04:25 PM
There is also little substance to the oft-repeated claim that BFR will be "way over the permissible sound limits".  One analysis early in this thread showed "twice as loud"... that's 3db.  There may be other sound suppression means that can be employed: remember acoustic energy is reflected back at the rocket by the ground, so it's also in the rocket's best interest to limit that.  We don't have any concrete information one way or the other about BFR sound levels at lift off, just a bunch of speculation, some more alarmist than others.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/25/2017 04:40 PM
Activity activity the 2 tracking dishes look pretty done now, now they are building a structure over the crane. Like Nomadd predicted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rockets4life97 on 10/25/2017 04:51 PM
For everyone who just wants to see progress on the launch site at Boca Chica Beach, this may never happen.
You seem to be trolling, the bulk of your message does not support it's initial premise, and you purposely muddle the difference between a 'launch site' and 'launch pad'.

Dave G is trying to summarize the discussion. I think this is helpful to future readers of the thread. SpaceX seems unlikely to abandon BFR. There are three options on the table: 1) F9/FH launch pad, 2) BFR launch pad, 3) BFR launch site for offshore pad.

The status of 1 is unknown, but maybe not happening. Dave G thinks 3 is more likely than 2.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 10/25/2017 05:03 PM
For everyone who just wants to see progress on the launch site at Boca Chica Beach, this may never happen.
You seem to be trolling, the bulk of your message does not support it's initial premise, and you purposely muddle the difference between a 'launch site' and 'launch pad'.

Dave G is trying to summarize the discussion. I think this is helpful to future readers of the thread. SpaceX seems unlikely to abandon BFR. There are three options on the table: 1) F9/FH launch pad, 2) BFR launch pad, 3) BFR launch site for offshore pad.

The status of 1 is unknown, but maybe not happening. Dave G thinks 3 is more likely than 2.
Perhaps that's what he meant, but it's not what he said. And his statement that I quoted (that you quoted), is patently false in the light of the pictures posted immediately above your post. We continue to see progress on the launch site at Boca Chica, regardless of which craft is supported, or which type of pad may be built.

For everyone who just wants to see progress on the launch site at Boca Chica Beach
... watch this space...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 10/25/2017 05:06 PM
There may be other sound suppression means that can be employed:

Sound absorbing cows?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: woods170 on 10/25/2017 06:17 PM
Or ditch BC completely for anything orbital and use 39A which would be cheaper than an offshore platform.
BC could be used for engine testing, etc.

Unlikely given that they already have McGregor for that.

McGregor doesn't work for integrated vehicle tests.
1. structural test article.
2. all engine static test fire.
3. short hops
4. many more than I can think of?

Incorrect.

You were specifically talking about engine testing. Don't try to distract the readers here by moving the goalposts to obscure the fact that you cannot properly counter my argument.


That said. McGregor has also been used for:

1. Testing with structural test articles (Falcon 1, Falcon 9, Dragon and Crew Dragon)
2. All-engine static test firings (Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon)
3. Short hops (Grasshopper, F9R Dev1 and Crew Dragon)
4. Many other things such as COPV testing, stage separation testing, RCS testing and many others.

Integrated, all-up, vehicles are usually tested on the launchpad. That's about the only use of BC, other than launching from there. All other stuff can be done at McGregor. Even at 9 meter size.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 10/25/2017 06:23 PM
Can't do hops from McGregor anymore.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Steve D on 10/25/2017 08:20 PM
Its not road transportable. You cant get BFS / BFR to the site
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 10/25/2017 08:24 PM
Or ditch BC completely for anything orbital and use 39A which would be cheaper than an offshore platform.
BC could be used for engine testing, etc.

Unlikely given that they already have McGregor for that.

McGregor doesn't work for integrated vehicle tests.
1. structural test article.
2. all engine static test fire.
3. short hops
4. many more than I can think of?

Incorrect.

You were specifically talking about engine testing. Don't try to distract the readers here by moving the goalposts to obscure the fact that you cannot properly counter my argument.


That said. McGregor has also been used for:

1. Testing with structural test articles (Falcon 1, Falcon 9, Dragon and Crew Dragon)
2. All-engine static test firings (Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon)
3. Short hops (Grasshopper, F9R Dev1 and Crew Dragon)
4. Many other things such as COPV testing, stage separation testing, RCS testing and many others.

Integrated, all-up, vehicles are usually tested on the launchpad. That's about the only use of BC, other than launching from there. All other stuff can be done at McGregor. Even at 9 meter size.

A structural test, short hop, or all-up static test fire would require getting a 9-meter diameter vehicle to McGregor. I don't see any realistic way to do that.

Engines and other smaller articles can be tested at McGregor, but full vehicle tests will have to be done at Boca Chica, Stennis, the Cape, or somewhere else with barge access.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/25/2017 08:41 PM
Yes to capability. No to feasibility.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 10/25/2017 09:37 PM
Can we have less squabbling? Thanks
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lobo on 10/25/2017 11:39 PM
Or ditch BC completely for anything orbital and use 39A which would be cheaper than an offshore platform.

Yes, I think this is a 4th possibility too, as discussed up thread, depending on how things go at the Cape over the next few years.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: darkenfast on 10/26/2017 04:15 AM
They can suppress the sound within the pad structure and that which reflects off it, but they cannot reduce the sound once it clears the pad.  The sound that the largest rocket ever flown makes will have an effect that those who authorize the use of Boca Chica will have to consider.  Does anyone have a good estimate of the radius of the "keep-out" circle would be for something that size?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/26/2017 09:41 AM
For everyone who just wants to see progress on the launch site at Boca Chica Beach, this may never happen.
You seem to be trolling, the bulk of your message does not support it's initial premise, and you purposely muddle the difference between a 'launch site' and 'launch pad'.
Interesting response.

I've been posting regularly on this thread for the last 5 1/2 years (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28585.msg906291#msg906291), and its the first time I've been accused of trolling.

To clarify launch site vs. launch pad, in the possible case where BFR requires a fixed launch platform a few miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach, I'm assuming they would still need a lot of stuff on land to support it.  Stuff like the Stargate tracking center (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STARGATE), a control center building in Boca Chica Village, and a water tower, propellant tanks, etc. at Boca Chica Beach.  In other words, the "launch site" as a whole would still be mostly at Boca Chica, with a relatively small launch platform a few miles offshore, and electrical cables, fiber-optics, and flexible pipe connecting them.

Dave G is trying to summarize the discussion. I think this is helpful to future readers of the thread. SpaceX seems unlikely to abandon BFR. There are three options on the table: 1) F9/FH launch pad, 2) BFR launch pad, 3) BFR launch site for offshore pad.

The status of 1 is unknown, but maybe not happening. Dave G thinks 3 is more likely than 2.
Yes, and in the end, my guess is no better than anyone else's.

I'm just trying to point out the possibility that we may never see a launch pad at Boca Chica Beach.

We continue to see progress on the launch site at Boca Chica, regardless of which craft is supported, or which type of pad may be built.
Yes, and that includes the possibility of an offshore BFR pad, with onshore support facilities.

Also, the antenna dishes at Boca Chica Village are being installed to support commercial crew for NASA.

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/business/article_d7031782-6656-11e6-a638-f3b7452178ae.html
Quote
The 86-ton antennas, which the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company acquired from NASA’s KennedySpaceCenter at Cape Canaveral, will be used to track flights of the crewed version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station

Since all of the commercial crew missions will launch from the cape, and since NASA is helping to pay for the dishes,
we don't know if these dishes will be used to track launches from Boca Chica.  In fact, the Stargate tracking center funded through the University of Texas seems to be working on a phased array approach with many smaller fixed antenna elements, and software that can form them into a tight beam in any direction.  Note that the Stargate tracking center (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STARGATE) will also be used for radio astronomy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/26/2017 10:00 AM
 If Bocachicagal is out there, aren't you suppose to be getting pictures to take up the slack while I'm busy cussing Bulgarian internet?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 10/26/2017 10:26 AM
If Bocachicagal is out there, aren't you suppose to be getting pictures to take up the slack while I'm busy cussing Bulgarian internet?
SPITexas actually came through and provided us some much needed optical crack to distract us from our lament over what this thread has become...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Semmel on 10/26/2017 10:38 AM
If Bocachicagal is out there, aren't you suppose to be getting pictures to take up the slack while I'm busy cussing Bulgarian internet?
SPITexas actually came through and provided us some much needed optical crack to distract us from our lament over what this thread has become...

Yeah, shame the fotos are not discussed, because they are fantastic! Both dishes up, one seems to lack the emitter/receiver still, but cant take long to add that. Also, they are building a shag around the crane. Why would they do that?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/26/2017 11:25 AM
Yeah, shame the fotos are not discussed, because they are fantastic! Both dishes up, one seems to lack the emitter/receiver still, but cant take long to add that. Also, they are building a shag around the crane. Why would they do that?
The crane might be sitting there for a while.
 The first dish didn't have drives and I suspect the waveguides will be replaced.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/26/2017 02:51 PM
If Bocachicagal is out there, aren't you suppose to be getting pictures to take up the slack while I'm busy cussing Bulgarian internet?
SPITexas actually came through and provided us some much needed optical crack to distract us from our lament over what this thread has become...

Yeah, shame the fotos are not discussed, because they are fantastic! Both dishes up, one seems to lack the emitter/receiver still, but cant take long to add that. Also, they are building a shag around the crane. Why would they do that?

Yea very sad they ain’t talking about the photos. The thread got filled with BFR talk for almost a month and yes Dave G we do want to see progress at Boca Chica.  After they put dirt and put up two dishes and also making something for the crane why abandon it now.?    I think your talking about the idea SpaceX launching the BFR and abandon it, but maybe they can make a platform in the gulf to launch it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 10/26/2017 05:47 PM
Speaking of photos...

The crane parts stick out of the ends of where the shed is going up.  Are there more footings further out from the current ends?  I imagine that the shed ends are different than the mid-line supports so it would make sense that they would come in separately.  I would guess that this shed will be used for logistical support down the road as it is far too robust just to keep the crane out of the elements until needed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 10/26/2017 06:46 PM
Also, they are building a shag around the crane. Why would they do that?

I am pretty sure the are not building a shag[1]. But I too would like to know why build such a substantial building. Unless it is going to be repurposed it seems like a lot of expense to protect crane parts. Vandy used tents for TEL work I think... maybe tents are not considered very hurricane safe?

1 - Austin Powers, call your office.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: chipguy on 10/26/2017 07:13 PM
Also, they are building a shag around the crane. Why would they do that?

I am pretty sure the are not building a shag[1]. But I too would like to know why build such a substantial building. Unless it is going to be repurposed it seems like a lot of expense to protect crane parts. Vandy used tents for TEL work I think... maybe tents are not considered very hurricane safe?

1 - Austin Powers, call your office.

You know the old expression about the best planned uhh ... best laid plans.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/26/2017 09:52 PM
Also, they are building a shag around the crane. Why would they do that?

I am pretty sure the are not building a shag[1]. But I too would like to know why build such a substantial building. Unless it is going to be repurposed it seems like a lot of expense to protect crane parts. Vandy used tents for TEL work I think... maybe tents are not considered very hurricane safe?

1 - Austin Powers, call your office.

Yes we were also wondering about this a while back on this thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43026.msg1711549#msg1711549).

The building surrounding the crane is only 130 x 45 feet, or 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, roughly 3 times the size of the crane shack.

So unless they plan to have the crane there long term, it's a complete mystery what this building will be used for.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/26/2017 10:41 PM
By the way, here are the 3 photos posted by SPITexas (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1741863#msg1741863), cropped, resolution enhanced, and level corrected to show more detail.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/26/2017 11:00 PM
Speaking of photos...

The crane parts stick out of the ends of where the shed is going up.  Are there more footings further out from the current ends?  I imagine that the shed ends are different than the mid-line supports so it would make sense that they would come in separately.  I would guess that this shed will be used for logistical support down the road as it is far too robust just to keep the crane out of the elements until needed.
There are seven footings on the long sides. The columns at the near end of the photo on the long sides just haven't been installed yet. The parts will all be enclosed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meberbs on 10/26/2017 11:47 PM
...
That said. McGregor has also been used for:

1. Testing with structural test articles (Falcon 1, Falcon 9, Dragon and Crew Dragon)
2. All-engine static test firings (Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon)
3. Short hops (Grasshopper, F9R Dev1 and Crew Dragon)
4. Many other things such as COPV testing, stage separation testing, RCS testing and many others.

Integrated, all-up, vehicles are usually tested on the launchpad. That's about the only use of BC, other than launching from there. All other stuff can be done at McGregor. Even at 9 meter size.

A structural test, short hop, or all-up static test fire would require getting a 9-meter diameter vehicle to McGregor. I don't see any realistic way to do that.

Engines and other smaller articles can be tested at McGregor, but full vehicle tests will have to be done at Boca Chica, Stennis, the Cape, or somewhere else with barge access.
Actually, there is a simple way to get at least the ship between Boca Chica and McGregor, Musk has been spending too much time looking an interplanetary distances and apparently now defines "short hop" as "few hundred kilometers" it is 600 km as a bird flies from Boca Chica to McGregor.*

* I sincerely doubt they would use this route for that test, for so many reasons (they can't do any kind of free powered flight at McGregor anymore) Not sure where they can do it, other than catching it on a barge, in which case Boca Chica is an option.

I am glad to see at least one SpaceX specific building is going up, even if we have no idea what it is to be used for other than crane storage.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Azular on 10/27/2017 04:45 AM

 Not sure where they can do it, other than catching it on a barge, in which case Boca Chica is an option.


As they would probably (possibly) need the BFS back at site again would it be possible/likely for hop tests that they would launch from Boca Chica (or platform), travel 'out' for half of the hop, back for the other half of the hop and land back at the launch site/pad?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/27/2017 02:45 PM
https://www.facebook.com/LikeNews13/posts/10155760221680890

Good news For SpaceX and for Boca Chica.

NASA announced that SpaceX will launch a resupply mission to the International Space Station from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Air Force station.
Since then, SpaceX has been launching its rockets from Kennedy Space Center. However, KSC will need to be prepared for the maiden flight of the company's Falcon 9 Heavy rocket, also scheduled to launch in December.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 10/29/2017 09:16 PM
introducibg the STARGATE windows!!!!   Ohhh and Somebody surveyed and cleared a large lot between the antennas and the crane.   Sorry about the pictures looking like that, but here you go. What do you think there gonna put in between the antennas and crane.  Parking lot maybe?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/29/2017 09:37 PM
introducibg the STARGATE windows!!!!   Ohhh and Somebody surveyed and cleared a large lot between the antennas and the crane.   Sorry about the pictures looking like that, but here you go. What do you think there gonna put in between the antennas and crane.  Parking lot maybe?

cropped, enlarged, and level adjusted to show more detail
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/30/2017 06:03 AM
By the way, the university that will be running the Stargate tracking center has posted around 40 pictures here.
https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00004Wy4yGzDBMw/G0000e7FR9ioIZQw/STARGATE-Boca-Chica

I've also copied a few of those below.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/30/2017 06:24 AM
Ohhh and Somebody surveyed and cleared a large lot between the antennas and the crane... What do you think they're gonna put in between the antennas and crane.  Parking lot maybe?

In this article:
http://www.valleymorningstar.com/premium/article_55d1b2b6-f782-11e4-bcb4-536546669d18.html
Cameron County Judge Pete Sepulveda said:
Quote
...the county earlier this year transferred ownership of 25 lots to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corp.  Sepulveda said that these lots are in the vicinity of the launch area, and that his understanding is that the properties would be used to develop parking.

Of course, that was before they brought in the 2 NASA dishes to support commercial crew launches from the cape.

So maybe they'll only use some of the 25 lots for parking.  Or maybe not.  Plans change.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 10/30/2017 07:56 AM
introducibg the STARGATE windows!!!!   Ohhh and Somebody surveyed and cleared a large lot between the antennas and the crane.   Sorry about the pictures looking like that, but here you go. What do you think there gonna put in between the antennas and crane.  Parking lot maybe?
The 7 lots between the dishes and the crane were part of Frank Kawalski's sale to Dogleg last year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: jebbo on 10/30/2017 08:07 AM
By the way, the university that will be running the Stargate tracking center has posted around 40 pictures here.
https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00004Wy4yGzDBMw/G0000e7FR9ioIZQw/STARGATE-Boca-Chica

Assuming the date stamps are accurate, the windows were being installed in June, and they were starting to fit out the interior in August.  So, it would be interesting to see the interior now ...

--- Tony
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/30/2017 11:34 AM
So, it would be interesting to see the interior now ...
Yes.

But again, the university that will be running the Stargate tracking center has posted around 40 pictures here.
https://utrgv-umc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00004Wy4yGzDBMw/G0000e7FR9ioIZQw/STARGATE-Boca-Chica

Here's another one of the 40:
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: woods170 on 10/31/2017 07:00 AM
Just to remind you all. This is not a party thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 10/31/2017 09:32 AM
Is this a common construction technique in that part of the country, put up essentially a hangar and then build an office building inside of it?  Seems a bit inefficient as they are basically creating two structures, unless this makes it easier to control heating and cooling somehow.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/31/2017 10:41 AM
SpaceX: Progress ongoing at Boca Chica site, second antenna added
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/spacex-progress-ongoing-at-boca-chica-site-second-antenna-added/article_c8f0717c-bde3-11e7-a016-9792b5eb6dd4.html

Quote
SpaceX has finished installing a second ground station antenna at its future Boca Chica spaceport for the purpose of tracking Crew Dragon missions to the International Space Station beginning in 2018.

Crew Dragon is the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company’s seven-seat spacecraft designed to carry humans to the ISS and other destinations. A SpaceX spokesman said the antennas will also be used to track flights from Boca Chica once they’re underway.

The company acquired the 86-ton antennas from NASA’s KennedySpaceCenter at Cape Canaveral and transported them to Boca Chica via semitrailer. The first antenna was installed this summer...

The Boca Chica site broke ground in September 2014. Later, 310,000 cubic yards of soil were trucked in over a period of months to stabilize the area. No concrete has been poured other than the antenna bases and no structures have been erected, though the STARGATE Technology Park, a public-private partnership between the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and SpaceX, is under construction across State Hwy. 4. No date has been set for the first launch from Boca Chica.

The company said it has completed 16 launches so far in 2017, including Monday’s launch of a Korean commercial communications satellite from KennedySpaceCenter.

“While SpaceX’s launch cadence has never been higher, and even as our teams have worked to modernize and improve our other launch complexes, we have continued to make progress on building the first-ever orbital commercial spaceport in South Texas,” said the spokesman.

Meanwhile, the company is at work developing its Interplanetary Transportation System, nicknamed “BFR,” which SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk plans to use to transport humans to Mars for the purposes of colonization. BFR, which stands for “Big F— Rocket,” would feature 31 main engines propelling a spacecraft capable of carrying about 100 people.

Musk gave an update of his Mars plans at a meeting of the International Astronautical Congress on Sept. 29 in Australia, during which he said the company plans to launch its first non-crewed flights to Mars by 2022. If all goes well, the first crewed flights to Mars would take place in 2024, he said.

Note: This is the first time SpaceX has said the dishes will also be used for launches from Boca Chica.

In the previous press release 15 months ago (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/business/article_d7031782-6656-11e6-a638-f3b7452178ae.html), they said the dishes were "for the purpose of tracking manned space flights, though not flights from Boca Chica, at least not yet."

Also note that NASA is helping to pay for these 2 antennas as part of their $2.6 billion commercial crew contract with SpaceX.  Apparently, NASA was OK with SpaceX using the antenna dishes for other purposes as well.

But this brings up an interesting issue: Who gets priority?  I'm assuming NASA.  In other words, for the ~2 days Dragon2 en route to the ISS, and the ~2 days it's en route back to earth, I'm assuming SpaceX won't be able to launch from Boca Chica. That's for each commercial crew mission.

As the NASA commercial crew arrangement matures, if they start allowing previously flown first stages and Dragon2 capsules, commercial crew costs could drop significantly.  In this case, there may be many commercial crew missions a year.  So if each commercial crew mission blocks launching from Boca Chica for ~4 days, that could be somewhat limiting in the future.

In any case, it's an interesting development.  It's the first time we've been told the dishes will be used for Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: LouScheffer on 10/31/2017 10:55 AM
Is this a common construction technique in that part of the country, put up essentially a hangar and then build an office building inside of it?  Seems a bit inefficient as they are basically creating two structures, unless this makes it easier to control heating and cooling somehow.
This is quite common, at least in all parts of the country where I've lived.  The advantage is that you can change the interior configuration of the building at any time.  Conference rooms, cubicles, offices, etc., can all be decided later, or changed as a result of experience.  For commercial buildings, it lets them appeal to a wider variety of customers, some of whom may not be known when the building is built.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: woods170 on 10/31/2017 11:49 AM
Also note that NASA is helping to pay for these 2 antennas as part of their $2.6 billion commercial crew contract with SpaceX.  Apparently, NASA was OK with SpaceX using the antenna dishes for other purposes as well.
No different from SpaceX using Crew Dragon for a private (non-NASA) circumlunar mission.

But this brings up an interesting issue: Who gets priority?  I'm assuming NASA.  In other words, for the ~2 days Dragon2 en route to the ISS, and the ~2 days it's en route back to earth, I'm assuming SpaceX won't be able to launch from Boca Chica. That's for each commercial crew mission.
These antennas are mainly for ascent tracking only. They are basically available for other purposes 20 minutes after launch of a CCP mission, not 2 days.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 10/31/2017 12:56 PM
Just to remind you all. This is not a party thread.
Indeed it isn't, although we do give this thread a certain amount of latitude... some trimming.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 10/31/2017 01:40 PM
But this brings up an interesting issue: Who gets priority?  I'm assuming NASA.  In other words, for the ~2 days Dragon2 en route to the ISS, and the ~2 days it's en route back to earth, I'm assuming SpaceX won't be able to launch from Boca Chica. That's for each commercial crew mission.
These antenna's are mainly for ascent tracking only. They are basically available for other purposes 20 minutes after launch of a CCP mission, not 2 days.

Not quite sure what you mean here.

If you're saying that the 2 antenna dishes at Boca Chica will somehow be used for ascent tracking of commercial crew launches from the cape, that's not correct.  They'll use dishes at the cape for that.

The 2 antenna dishes at Boca Chica will be used to track Crew Dragon in orbit to/from the ISS.  SpaceX made this clear in both press releases, here (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_d8b149a2-61b3-11e6-bfa1-8b38c37d8d4c.html) and here (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/spacex-progress-ongoing-at-boca-chica-site-second-antenna-added/article_c8f0717c-bde3-11e7-a016-9792b5eb6dd4.html).  NASA's commercial crew contract requires SpaceX to locate tracking stations at locations other than the cape for this purpose.

And today we just found out that SpaceX will also use these 2 antenna dishes for launches from Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 10/31/2017 04:32 PM
Is this a common construction technique in that part of the country, put up essentially a hangar and then build an office building inside of it?  Seems a bit inefficient as they are basically creating two structures, unless this makes it easier to control heating and cooling somehow.
This is quite common, at least in all parts of the country where I've lived.  The advantage is that you can change the interior configuration of the building at any time.  Conference rooms, cubicles, offices, etc., can all be decided later, or changed as a result of experience.  For commercial buildings, it lets them appeal to a wider variety of customers, some of whom may not be known when the building is built.
I spent a summer as a young man working for a commercial property management company --- mostly using a sledgehammer to knock down sheet-metal studded walls like this after a tenant left. My understanding is that each tenant got a bare canvas to reconfigure with walls however they liked.  After they left, the flimsy sheet metal studs and sheetrock, with no internal load-bearing elements, were very easy for low-paid labor (ie, me at the time) to take down.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: launchwatcher on 10/31/2017 04:59 PM
Is this a common construction technique in that part of the country, put up essentially a hangar and then build an office building inside of it?  Seems a bit inefficient as they are basically creating two structures, unless this makes it easier to control heating and cooling somehow.
This is quite common, at least in all parts of the country where I've lived.  The advantage is that you can change the interior configuration of the building at any time.  Conference rooms, cubicles, offices, etc., can all be decided later, or changed as a result of experience.  For commercial buildings, it lets them appeal to a wider variety of customers, some of whom may not be known when the building is built.
Also allows for some amount of schedule compression as you don't have to commit to an internal layout early on.

When you don't have the big open floorplans, some people can end up sharing their office/cube with a structural column.   This was parodied in The Incredibles but I've seen it happen for real.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: woods170 on 10/31/2017 05:58 PM
But this brings up an interesting issue: Who gets priority?  I'm assuming NASA.  In other words, for the ~2 days Dragon2 en route to the ISS, and the ~2 days it's en route back to earth, I'm assuming SpaceX won't be able to launch from Boca Chica. That's for each commercial crew mission.
These antenna's are mainly for ascent tracking only. They are basically available for other purposes 20 minutes after launch of a CCP mission, not 2 days.

Not quite sure what you mean here.

If you're saying that the 2 antenna dishes at Boca Chica will somehow be used for ascent tracking of commercial crew launches from the cape, that's not correct.  They'll use dishes at the cape for that.

The 2 antenna dishes at Boca Chica will be used to track Crew Dragon in orbit to/from the ISS.  SpaceX made this clear in both press releases, here (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_d8b149a2-61b3-11e6-bfa1-8b38c37d8d4c.html) and here (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/spacex-progress-ongoing-at-boca-chica-site-second-antenna-added/article_c8f0717c-bde3-11e7-a016-9792b5eb6dd4.html).  NASA's commercial crew contract requires SpaceX to locate tracking stations at locations other than the cape for this purpose.

And today we just found out that SpaceX will also use these 2 antenna dishes for launches from Boca Chica.
No difference whatsoever. These antenna's can only track Crew Dragon (from horizon to horizon) for roughly 15 minutes per orbit. And Crew Dragon will be within "sight" of these antenna's for only 4 orbits per day. That is a total of dedicated service, for Crew Dragon, of - at most - two hours per day. That leaves plenty of time for using them for other purposes as well.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/31/2017 06:15 PM
FWIW, it isn't a "commercial revenue" coming from government co-investment issue.

This was settled a looong time ago.

Want you to think of what happens when anything that government might use, say 1-4 times per year, is exclusively used by government? Its like say 39A ... they have to pay 100%, every year, for upkeep/liability/etc.

Now lets say you did proportional use as a charge back? Well, then all the commercial users would be forced to the governments extremely high costing, pushing it out of commercial's "price point". Result, only government uses it, and costs zoom up again.

Best way to look at it from the government perspective is that they have a reserve capacity they can call up on short notice, free upkeep, and some else keeping up proficiency in using the equipment. A sweet deal. If actually used.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/01/2017 02:10 AM
A nice photo of the 2 dishes, from this link (http://www.themonitor.com/news/article_866d2e22-bdd8-11e7-9b87-b72daaa7674b.html).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/01/2017 02:17 AM
Here's an article that suggests how BFR may launch from Boca Chica:

http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/10/spacexs-gwynne-shotwell-reveals-more-details-about-the-bfr-002085099.html
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.

Just as an added note, the folks developing the Texas Hyperloop might want to consider a new branch of the line between Houston and Boca Chica. If the SpaceX facility is going to be the commercial gateway to Mars and the moon, it should generate plenty of traffic.

Another idea would be to make Boca Chica one of the places where the suborbital BFR takes off and lands as it takes people and cargo to points halfway around the world. All in all, the growth such a facility would give to nearby Brownsville could be staggering. As predicted in a previous piece, the first person to land on Mars or even the first person back to the moon may wind up leaving Earth from Texas.

When the author of this article discusses an offshore platform, he does not imply a fully offshore launch site, and he does not imply a floating platform like ASDS or Sea Launch.

Rather, he implies a space launch complex that's partly on land, and partly in the Gulf.

In other words, this implies a fixed platform with underwater legs that physically connect it to the ocean floor.  The Gulf of Mexico is only 72 feet deep 5 miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach.  This also implies a lot of buildings and other infrastructure (e.g. antenna dishes) at Boca Chica Village, and more infrastructure (e.g. water tower and propellant tanks) at Boca Chica Beach, with electrical cables, fiber-optics, and flexible pipes running underwater to the offshore pad.

And as the author suggests, such an arrangement could have huge implications for the Brownsville area, especially if they launch BFR sub-orbital passenger flights from Boca Chica to other destinations across the world and back.  That scenario would also imply a lot of construction in and around Boca Chica Village, to the point where SpaceX may want to keep a large construction crane there long-term, with a permanent structure to house it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/01/2017 03:22 AM
There is also little substance to the oft-repeated claim that BFR will be "way over the permissible sound limits".  One analysis early in this thread showed "twice as loud"... that's 3db. 

If it's going offshore they might as well go 20 miles out and reduce the noise issues. BFR is going to be breaking windows 5-10 miles away on a regular basis if they launch frequently.

Two opposite opinions.  I'm somewhere in the middle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/01/2017 04:48 AM
Here's an article that suggests how BFR may launch from Boca Chica:

http://us.blastingnews.com/news/2017/10/spacexs-gwynne-shotwell-reveals-more-details-about-the-bfr-002085099.html
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 drillingwould likely avoid the issue of beach closures that land launches have entailed.

Just as an added note, the folks developing the Texas Hyperloop might want to consider a new branch of the line between Houston and Boca Chica. If the SpaceX facility is going to be the commercial gateway to Mars and the moon, it should generate plenty of traffic.

Another idea would be to make Boca Chica one of the places where the suborbital BFR takes off and lands as it takes people and cargo to points halfway around the world. All in all, the growth such a facility would give to nearby Brownsville could be staggering. As predicted in a previous piece, the first person to land on Mars or even the first person back to the moon may wind up leaving Earth from Texas.

When the author of this article discusses an offshore platform, he does not imply a fully offshore launch site, and he does not imply a floating platform like ASDS or Sea Launch.

Rather, he implies a space launch complex that's partly on land, and partly in the Gulf.

In other words, this implies a fixed platform with underwater legs that physically connect it to the ocean floor.  The Gulf of Mexico is only 72 feet deep 5 miles offshore from Boca Chica Beach.  This also implies a lot of buildings and other infrastructure (e.g. antenna dishes) at Boca Chica Village, and more infrastructure (e.g. water tower and propellant tanks) at Boca Chica Beach, with electrical cables, fiber-optics, and flexible pipes running underwater to the offshore pad.

And as the author suggests, such an arrangement could have huge implications for the Brownsville area, especially if they launch BFR sub-orbital passenger flights from Boca Chica to other destinations across the world and back.  That scenario would also imply a lot of construction in and around Boca Chica Village, to the point where SpaceX may want to keep a large construction crane there long-term, with a permanent structure to house it.


I agree with your opinion which SpaceX have stated about 3 Times this year  they might launch the BFR from Boca Chica,  I would guess a launch pad on land for the F9 and FH and a offshore platform shown on Sept 29th by Elon Musk.   It’s pretty clear they might not choose LC-39A for the BFR because it’s too big still for it.  SpaceX building its site from scratch makes more sense for the BFR than LC-39A.  If I where Them I would pick Boca Chica for the BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 11/01/2017 10:39 AM
There is also little substance to the oft-repeated claim that BFR will be "way over the permissible sound limits".  One analysis early in this thread showed "twice as loud"... that's 3db. 

If it's going offshore they might as well go 20 miles out and reduce the noise issues. BFR is going to be breaking windows 5-10 miles away on a regular basis if they launch frequently.

Two opposite opinions.  I'm somewhere in the middle.

Cscott is referring to audible noise, while I was referring to the full spectrum which causes more structural damage. I don't think audible noise will be a major issue.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/01/2017 11:36 AM
Cscott is referring to audible noise, while I was referring to the full spectrum which causes more structural damage. I don't think audible noise will be a major issue.

Good point.

From what I understand, it's the low frequency sound waves that crack foundations and break windows.

I'm not an acoustics expert, but intuition would suggest that a much larger, much heavier rocket would produce a lot more low frequency audio, even if the overall sound level is only twice as loud.

Also, while they have many techniques to suppress normal sound frequencies, in my experience, very low sound frequencies just go everywhere, no matter what you do.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/01/2017 11:56 AM
http://www.krgv.com/story/36728029/spacex-installs-2nd-antenna-at-boca-chica-beach

Very short article finally KRGV gives a update “SpaceX spokesman says launches will begin in 2018” honestly I can take late 2018 and 2019 for its first launches. Anytime.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 11/01/2017 12:11 PM
http://www.krgv.com/story/36728029/spacex-installs-2nd-antenna-at-boca-chica-beach

Very short article finally KRGV gives a update “SpaceX spokesman says launches will begin in 2018” honestly I can take late 2018 and 2019 for its first launches. Anytime.

I believe the 2018 quote refers to crewed Dragon launches, not Boca Chica launches.  Your quote leaves a bit of ambiguity there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: matthewkantar on 11/01/2017 02:03 PM
About the low frequency noise, how does BFR having 31 small engines rather than 7 or so larger engines effect the frequency and volume of noise produced? Is total thrust the only factor?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/01/2017 04:26 PM
About the low frequency noise, how does BFR having 31 small engines rather than 7 or so larger engines effect the frequency and volume of noise produced? Is total thrust the only factor?

As a guess, it may not be the total thrust, but rather the weight of the rocket pressing against the ground through that total thrust at liftoff, and the weight of the rocket pressing against the air after liftoff.

In general, I would think more weight would produce more lower frequency sound waves.

But again, I'm not an acoustics expert, so it's just a guess.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/01/2017 04:30 PM
http://www.krgv.com/story/36728029/spacex-installs-2nd-antenna-at-boca-chica-beach

Very short article finally KRGV gives a update “SpaceX spokesman says launches will begin in 2018” honestly I can take late 2018 and 2019 for its first launches. Anytime.

From the article you link:
"The antennas will be used to track Crew Dragon missions to the International Space Center (sic).
A Space X spokeswoman said launches should begin in 2018."

So as  StuffOfInterest suggests, the article implies that Crew Dragon launches from Florida will begin in 2018.

[edit]
To further clarify, this article (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/spacex-progress-ongoing-at-boca-chica-site-second-antenna-added/article_c8f0717c-bde3-11e7-a016-9792b5eb6dd4.html) says:
"SpaceX has finished installing a second ground station antenna at its future Boca Chica spaceport for the purpose of tracking Crew Dragon missions to the International Space Station beginning in 2018."

[edit2] change "the cape" to Florida
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/01/2017 04:39 PM
http://www.krgv.com/story/36728029/spacex-installs-2nd-antenna-at-boca-chica-beach

Very short article finally KRGV gives a update “SpaceX spokesman says launches will begin in 2018” honestly I can take late 2018 and 2019 for its first launches. Anytime.

From the article you link:
"The antennas will be used to track Crew Dragon missions to the International Space Center (sic).
A Space X spokeswoman said launches should begin in 2018."


So as  StuffOfInterest suggests, the article implies that Crew Dragon launches from the cape will begin in 2018.

I knew something about that felt wrong, Crewed dragon launches from LC-40 Cape Canaveral? I thought they planned to fly from
LC-39A KSC?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 11/01/2017 04:57 PM
Journalists are sloppy with CCAFS vs KSC, I don't think one should read LC-40 into any of these remarks (I didn't read the article)....
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: watermod on 11/01/2017 05:25 PM
The offshore BFR discussion got me wondering.   The BRF first stage lands back on the same pad it launches from so does that mean each BFR rocket will need a dedicate launch pad on a 1:1 basis?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 11/01/2017 05:32 PM
The offshore BFR discussion got me wondering.   The BRF first stage lands back on the same pad it launches from so does that mean each BFR rocket will need a dedicate launch pad on a 1:1 basis?

I would presume that a BFC* would be able to lift the booster off of its mount and drop it on a transporter to be removed for servicing or repairs and then lift a fresh booster onto the mount.  The crane is already needed for lifting the BFS on top of the BFR and I imagine it would have the lift capacity to handle the booster as well.  Somewhere near by there should be a BFH+ with room for two or three BFR and BFS undergoing servicing.

If an offshore platform is used at Boca Chica, it will probably make more sense for the hangar to be over at the ship channel instead of near the control center as there won't be an easy way to get the BFR or BFS off of a transporter and onto shore in Boca Chica.

*  Big F? Crane
+ Big F? Hangar
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/01/2017 09:22 PM
*  Big F? Crane
+ Big F? Hangar
lol

If an offshore platform is used at Boca Chica, it will probably make more sense for the hangar to be over at the ship channel instead of near the control center...
I agree.  And for BFR comsat missions, they may need to locate payload processing facilities there as well.

They could also build BFR there.  Elon spoke about building BFR near the Texas launch site back in 2013. Last month at Stanford, Gwynne Shotwell also confirmed that was the long-term plan.

In any case, transporting BFR over water solves a lot of issues.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 11/02/2017 11:39 AM
Big Falcon Rocket
Big Falcon Crane
Big Falcon Hanger

Gwynne has been quite clear (although Elon mischievously likes to preserve the ambiguity).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/02/2017 12:30 PM
Big Falcon Rocket
Big Falcon Crane
Big Falcon Hanger
Gwynne has been quite clear (although Elon mischievously likes to preserve the ambiguity).

I think either works, depending on the audience.

But Elon's been quite clear how the name came about.  Here's what he said to GQ magazine in Oct 2015:
https://www.gq.com/story/elon-musk-mars-spacex-tesla-interview
Quote
The rocket that they are working on is referred to internally by the code name BFR. And it doesn't stand for some arcane, smarty-pants science term. It stands for Big frakking Rocket.

I ask Musk whether he really calls it that; his answer is both delightfully nerdy, and not.

"Well, there's two parts of it—there's a booster rocket and there's a spaceship...  So, technically, it would be the BFR and the BFS." As in "Big frakking Spaceship."

Musk coined these names himself. "This is a very obtuse video-game reference," he tells me. "In the original Doom, the gun that was like the crazy gun was the BFG 9000 or something like that. So it was sort of named after the gun in Doom. But that's not its official name, of course."
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 11/02/2017 12:48 PM
Yes, yes, we know where the name came from.  But that's not the official name of the rocket.

We just had this discussion, let's not repeat it.
I've never understood why folks designated some other F-word to the letter 'F'.
Probably because it's more of a "Pterodactyl in size" relative to the Falcon... ;D

I think the joke is that the 'official' name is Big Falcon Rocket, but it can also be taken (by Elon in particular) as standing for Big F*****g Rocket.

The ambiguity is purposeful. No big deal.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 11/02/2017 01:04 PM
Yes, let's not repeat it, thanks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RoboGoofers on 11/02/2017 03:58 PM
Going slightly OT here but what effect would the acoustic energy from a water-borne BFR launch have on sea life? Ssome people view environmental regulations as onerous, but if pods of dead dolphins start washing up on Gulf beaches that'll be a PR nightmare for SpaceX.
What effect would it have on the launch structure? I'm sure no existing structures like drilling platforms have been designed to deal with such intense low frequency sound.

edit: i suspect the structure that supports the launch pad will look like thus during a lunch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGSioE58YjA?t=1m15s
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: DanielW on 11/02/2017 04:49 PM
Going slightly OT here but what effect would the acoustic energy from a water-borne BFR launch have on sea life? Ssome people view environmental regulations as onerous, but if pods of dead dolphins start washing up on Gulf beaches that'll be a PR nightmare for SpaceX.
What effect would it have on the launch structure? I'm sure no existing structures like drilling platforms have been designed to deal with such intense low frequency sound.

The vast majority of the acoustic energy would reflect off the inter-medium interface. This is evident from experience when trying to hear a conversation while just under water or noting that you can hear a conversation from the other side of a calm lake.

The height of the waves will make some difference as will any complicated interactions with the plume making the barrier less of a definite thing.

Here is the only equation I could find from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_acoustics#Absorption_of_sound (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_acoustics#Absorption_of_sound). (https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/f28f4dfa6f2e2c9975168ffda6d2a4d615e3292e) h is the RMS wave height. So as you approach dead calm or low angles of incidence you get nearly perfect reflection.


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 11/02/2017 06:06 PM
The environmental review for Vandenberg asds landings considered this exact issue and concluded after some experiments that the vast majority of the acoustic energy is reflected and very little is conducted into the water. (As the poster above stated.)

It's worth reviewing that document, as it describes in great detail how quickly such as this would be answered.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ClayJar on 11/02/2017 06:49 PM
If you're launching a very large rocket from a stationary marine platform, I would presume the "flame trench" would simply be a hole in the platform below the rocket.  I would assume there would be at least a partial flame deflector as well (so the huge spray would exit the platform in one direction by design).  At some point shortly after liftoff, the acoustic environment would be similar to a land launch (or ASDS landing) except in magnitude, so all the usual physics applies.  Sound doesn't couple well through the air/water interface, and how far you have to be from people is determined by how the sound and potential shockwaves travel through the atmosphere.

On the other hand, right around liftoff, the situation would be drastically different with respect to the water.  Having a "liquid flame trench" would seem likely to be advantageous to the local environment around the rocket at liftoff, being basically a tremendously high capacity deluge system.  On the other hand, you would have the full energy of the plume throwing water around with extreme prejudice.  You wouldn't be talking about coupling of sound waves across the air/water interface but rather the energy being imparted on the water in the "flame trench" area from the brute force of direct plume impingement.  I have not read any research on the long-distance underwater acoustics resulting from a large number of rocket engines firing directly into water, but perhaps I should consider experimenting next 4th of July.

I imagine a liquid flame trench (pointed away, of course) would likely also make the visuals quite amazing for those watching from South Padre Island.  You'd probably be able to see the top of the rocket from the beach (assuming arbitrary distances that feel about right), but if you were up high in one of the hotels, you may be able to see all the way to the water under the hypothetical Texas launch platform, and the spray at launch would be worth the view.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 11/02/2017 07:12 PM
Please keep us apprised of your experiments, ClayJar... 

I was thinking that plume might be enough to push most or all of the water away from a shallow seabed, at least briefly, followed by an inrush, so the water dynamics would be very interesting.

I suspect putting a cofferdam around the pad to protect sealife a ways away would not work.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RoboGoofers on 11/02/2017 07:23 PM
the sea launch platform topic deserves it's own thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44123.0
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/04/2017 12:34 AM
True too much BFR talk time to focus more on Boca Chica Contruction activity
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/04/2017 01:02 PM
True too much BFR talk time to focus more on Boca Chica Contruction activity

Recent statements from SpaceX have thrown the immediate fate of Boca Chica construction into question.

On Oct 11, SpaceX Senior Director Tom Ochinero said:
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/
Quote
Question: You have two pads in Florida, plus Vandenberg. Is it fair to say that given what you can do from your current locations,
you don’t need one in Texas?

SpaceX: Yes, that’s correct... What we have manifested in customer commitments are not bottle-necked by the lack of a fourth launch site. We can manage with the three...

In Australia, Elon said SpaceX will stop building F9/FH, and instead use BFR to launch commercial satellites. He also implied this would occur sometime between 2022 and 2024.

At Stanford, Gwynne said Boca Chica is perfect for launching BFR.

Together, these statements could imply that SpaceX will never launch F9/FH from Boca Chica.  Why build a launch pad in Boca Chica that's specific to F9/FH if they will be scrapped in 2022-2024?  And right now, how could they build a pad that can also accommodate BFR, when BFR is still in it's infancy?

So in this scenario, I doubt we would see Boca Chica launch site construction any time soon.

Remember, the 2 antenna dishes are being installed for NASA commercial crew launches from Florida.  They will track Dragon2 in orbit to/from the International Space Station.  SpaceX made this clear in both press releases, here (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/premium/article_d8b149a2-61b3-11e6-bfa1-8b38c37d8d4c.html) and here (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/spacex-progress-ongoing-at-boca-chica-site-second-antenna-added/article_c8f0717c-bde3-11e7-a016-9792b5eb6dd4.html).

The Stargate tracking center (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STARGATE) is being built and operated by the University of Texas, and will also be used for
radio astronomy (http://www.utrgv.edu/cara/programs/stargate/index.htm).  So they have plenty to do there even with no launches anytime soon.

When the crane came in last summer, it looked like they would start building something soon.  But then, just before Elon announced they were pivoting away from F9/FH as a long term solution, they started building a permanent structure to store the crane, perhaps long-term.

So all recent developments could easily be interpreted to mean that any significant construction at Boca Chica will be delayed, perhaps for years, until BFR is ready.

To be clear, I don't particularly subscribe to this point of view.  I'm sort of on the fence.  But I have to admit that its a possibility. The Boca Chica launch site may be specifically for BFR, and that may significantly delay construction.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: BadgerLegs on 11/04/2017 04:24 PM
All this talk about Boca Chica construction being slowed or halted is conjecture until FH has launched at least once.  From past statements and just plain logic, that's the trigger point for the teams working on 40 and 39A to move to Boca Chica.  Unless we see evidence to the contrary other than ambiguous statements and rampant conjecture, we'll just have to wait and see.

Further, when people talk about the Launch Pad at Boca Chica, they assume it will be built as a FH and F9 dedicated pad.  There is nothing to prevent the infrastructure from being developed with BFR in mind.  The flame trench can be made to handle BFR and the support for the crane and tower built in from the start without actually putting those assets in place.  The pad and flame trench are important as those are not easily enlarged.  In much the same way as a pad and flame trench designed for Saturn 5 is able to support the Senate Launch System, FH, and F9 as 39A and 39B are, a big trench and pad at Boca Chica will give them room for enhancement.

So, the discussion on THAT point is moot until at least mid December.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 11/04/2017 04:55 PM
All this talk about Boca Chica construction being slowed or halted is conjecture until FH has launched at least once.  From past statements and just plain logic, that's the trigger point for the teams working on 40 and 39A to move to Boca Chica.  Unless we see evidence to the contrary other than ambiguous statements and rampant conjecture, we'll just have to wait and see.

Further, when people talk about the Launch Pad at Boca Chica, they assume it will be built as a FH and F9 dedicated pad.  There is nothing to prevent the infrastructure from being developed with BFR in mind.  The flame trench can be made to handle BFR and the support for the crane and tower built in from the start without actually putting those assets in place.  The pad and flame trench are important as those are not easily enlarged.  In much the same way as a pad and flame trench designed for Saturn 5 is able to support the Senate Launch System, FH, and F9 as 39A and 39B are, a big trench and pad at Boca Chica will give them room for enhancement.

So, the discussion on THAT point is moot until at least mid December.

Very true, we may not have a clue as to whether the pad a Boca Chica Beach will be F9/FH only or for BFR also until they start building, but they need F9/FH capability there. Even if limits to 12 launches a year, most GTO because of the  available azimuths, that's 12 more Starlink launches that can go from the cape.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: BadgerLegs on 11/04/2017 05:14 PM
Very true, we may not have a clue as to whether the pad a Boca Chica Beach will be F9/FH only or for BFR also until they start building, but they need F9/FH capability there. Even if limits to 12 launches a year, most GTO because of the  available azimuths, that's 12 more Starlink launches that can go from the cape.
Given the overwhelming support for SpaceX in the local area, I don't imagine the 12-launch-per-year limitation is going to be permanent, especially after F9 starts flying regularly and the local businesses can see the benefits.  The 'breaking windows from 5 miles away' argument also seems a bit spurious.  People don't seem to know how sound works or how it is dissipated much more rapidly than people think.  If FH launches from Boca Chica and SpaceX gets the bill for dozens of windows, I think they'll consider it the cost of doing business.  People's houses are not going to collapse into the ground and foundations are not going to crack.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/04/2017 06:15 PM
All this talk about Boca Chica construction being slowed or halted is conjecture until FH has launched at least once.  From past statements and just plain logic, that's the trigger point for the teams working on 40 and 39A to move to Boca Chica.  Unless we see evidence to the contrary other than ambiguous statements and rampant conjecture, we'll just have to wait and see.

Further, when people talk about the Launch Pad at Boca Chica, they assume it will be built as a FH and F9 dedicated pad.  There is nothing to prevent the infrastructure from being developed with BFR in mind.  The flame trench can be made to handle BFR and the support for the crane and tower built in from the start without actually putting those assets in place.  The pad and flame trench are important as those are not easily enlarged.  In much the same way as a pad and flame trench designed for Saturn 5 is able to support the Senate Launch System, FH, and F9 as 39A and 39B are, a big trench and pad at Boca Chica will give them room for enhancement.

So, the discussion on THAT point is moot until at least mid December.



That’s what I’ve been saying, since the start honestly Dave G I disagree with you we gotta see how this goes

“Launch Complex 40, situated at Florida’s Cape Canaveral, was destroyed in a static fire anomaly in 2016. SpaceX engineers are currently in the midst of repairs, and its expected that the facility will be up and running as soon as Early December. Then, Launch Pad 39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center will receive upgrades ahead of the upcoming Falcon Heavy launch. After that, the focus is squarely on Boca Chica.”

LC-40 launches December 4th
Static fire test for the FH is December 15th and official launch of the heavy December 29th.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/04/2017 07:46 PM
we may not have a clue as to whether the pad a Boca Chica Beach will be F9/FH only or for BFR also until they start building, but they need F9/FH capability there.

Again, SpaceX explicitly said they do not need F9/FH capability at Boca Chica.  That's very clear here:
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/

But you're right that we have no clue.  They may want F9/FH capability at Boca Chica for redundancy, even if they say they don't need it.

All I'm trying to do is lay out the various possibilities, based on recent statements from SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 11/05/2017 01:44 AM
we may not have a clue as to whether the pad a Boca Chica Beach will be F9/FH only or for BFR also until they start building, but they need F9/FH capability there.

Again, SpaceX explicitly said they do not need F9/FH capability at Boca Chica.  That's very clear here:
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/

But you're right that we have no clue.  They may want F9/FH capability at Boca Chica for redundancy, even if they say they don't need it.

All I'm trying to do is lay out the various possibilities, based on recent statements from SpaceX.

Note the context in the link above. SpaceX doesn't need Boca Chica to service the commercial satellite market. But they absolutely do need it if they will launch commercial comsats AND launch 4000+ Starlink sats. That's the point I'm making.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ChrisC on 11/05/2017 02:12 AM
All this BFR talk in this thread is fine but I just wish you all weren't going around and around in circles on it.

At least the latest flareup of jawboning about acoustic energy died down after only a day.  See you in a month.

Got a good chuckle at the new dude who called out Dave G, one of the veteran contributors of actual facts to this thread.

Nomadd, when do you get back? :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: BadgerLegs on 11/05/2017 02:23 AM
Let's get the WHOLE quote in context and do a little thinking on this:

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.
This is MERELY Ochinero's statement of confidence that somebody who wants to launch will be able to do so and that building the fourth pad will NOT keep their satellites from launching.  The statement is obviously, to me at least, meant to quell concerns about SpaceX being pad constrained.  SpaceX is not currently pad constrained and Boca Chica will ensure that they aren't in the future.  Reading, "oh, we've given up on the Boca Chica site", into these statements borders on absurd.  That's not what he said; that's not what he meant.  Yet, that seems to be what people are jumping to here despite hundreds of statements to the contrary, tens of millions of investment in Boca Chica, and hardware in place for the continuance of work there.

Work halted, mysteriously, around the instant that pad 40 did its imitation of a Michael Bay movie.  Well, there is no mystery.  That's fact.  SpaceX wasn't about to hire a second pad crew, they shifted work to the more important pads in Florida.  Taking statements out of context and going off on wild conjecture tangents is not helping the matter.  Boca Chica pad is happening.  End of discussion.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: BadgerLegs on 11/05/2017 02:27 AM
Got a good chuckle at the new dude who called out Dave G, one of the veteran contributors of actual facts to this thread.

Nomadd, when do you get back? :)
So, new opinions do not matter to you?  That's kind of mean spirited.  I'm not calling out the facts, I'm calling out the conjecture in good faith.  Why are you trying to crush opposing viewpoints and optimism?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 11/05/2017 02:33 AM
I don't think anyone is trying to crush viewpoints. But read the backlog of this thread: we've had this discussion over and over and over and over and over again.  We've heard this viewpoint, and it's complement. We're a bit tired of going round in circles...at least until we get more actual information.  As other posters noted, that's probably not until FH flies.

SpaceX doesn't *need* F9 at Boca. But SpaceX might *want* F9 at Boca.  We get it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/05/2017 02:44 AM
But they absolutely do need it if they will launch commercial comsats AND launch 4000+ Starlink sats.

Not necessarily.

SpaceX wants to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites by the end of 2024, but each satellite is really small, so assuming 32 sats per launch, that's around 2 Falcon 9 launches per month.

SpaceX Senior Director Tom Ochinero said they can support at least 6 launches per month with their existing 3 pads. This was part of his answer as to why SpaceX doesn't need F9/FH capability at Boca Chica.
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/

And assuming they have the BFR satellite delivery spacecraft before 2024, that could probably hold over 100 satellites, with full reusability.  So that's another reason they may want to bypass F9/FH and go straight to BFR at Boca Chica.

Again, I'm not saying I know how this will play out. Quite the contrary.  But when someone presents something as an implied fact, I feel obliged to question it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/05/2017 04:14 AM
All this BFR talk in this thread is fine but I just wish you all weren't going around and around in circles on it.

At least the latest flareup of jawboning about acoustic energy died down after only a day.  See you in a month.

Got a good chuckle at the new dude who called out Dave G, one of the veteran contributors of actual facts to this thread.

Nomadd, when do you get back? :)

Who cares, got a good laugh outta you too really ridiculous right?. Because of my very old opinion that may be true. Calm down.  Never called out Dave G he’s a good guy, it’s called agree to disagree.

Nomadd comes back when he wants too, I think he said late November or whenever so just wait!!!! We’ll find out more soon.   
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/05/2017 06:07 AM
All this BFR talk in this thread is fine but I just wish you all weren't going around and around in circles on it.

At least the latest flareup of jawboning about acoustic energy died down after only a day.  See you in a month.

Got a good chuckle at the new dude who called out Dave G, one of the veteran contributors of actual facts to this thread.

Nomadd, when do you get back? :)
Back in the States in a few days. Maybe two weeks till I meander back home.
 One note on sound levels... energy, pressure and perceived volume are all different. "Twice as loud" is a perception and generally defined as a 10db increase in sound level (pressure), which means ten times the power for twice the perceived volume in stereos or rockets. An easy way to figure levels with little math is 3db increase for twice the power and 6db decrease for twice the distance. It's approximate, but close. (Sloppy, I know, but good enough for FAA and OSHA reference)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 11/05/2017 11:09 AM
But they absolutely do need it if they will launch commercial comsats AND launch 4000+ Starlink sats.

Not necessarily.

SpaceX wants to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites by the end of 2024, but each satellite is really small, so assuming 32 sats per launch, that's around 2 Falcon 9 launches per month.
...

So long as you consider 386kg (850lbs) and as 'big as a refrigerator' really small... 

With existing F9 fairing, will most likely be volume limited to 16-20 sats per launch -- larger fairing will help, but not likely to get to 32 per launch.  EM talked about 50-ish launches per year -- weekly -- for the LEO (4,425 sat) constellation; 7,500 VLEO sats almost triples the launch demand.

Not sure how Boca Chica fits into the picture, but flying this^ much out of the Cape plus Vandenberg will be difficult and expensive.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/05/2017 12:03 PM
But they absolutely do need it if they will launch commercial comsats AND launch 4000+ Starlink sats.

Not necessarily.

SpaceX wants to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites by the end of 2024, but each satellite is really small, so assuming 32 sats per launch, that's around 2 Falcon 9 launches per month.
...

So long as you consider 386kg (850lbs) and as 'big as a refrigerator' really small... 

With existing F9 fairing, will most likely be volume limited to 16-20 sats per launch -- larger fairing will help, but not likely to get to 32 per launch.  EM talked about 50-ish launches per year -- weekly -- for the LEO (4,425 sat) constellation; 7,500 VLEO sats almost triples the launch demand.

Not sure how Boca Chica fits into the picture, but flying this^ much out of the Cape plus Vandenberg will be difficult and expensive.

Whatever the final numbers, as I said, the BFR satellite delivery spacecraft will hold way more Starlink satellites, and it will be fully reusable, which means launch costs will be lower. So it's possible SpaceX may want to transition Starlink away from Falcon 9 sooner than later, and go straight to BFR at Boca Chica.

And by the way, given the backlash I've gotten for pointing out an obvious possibility, I have to ask:
Why is there so much emotional attachment to Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 11/05/2017 12:06 PM
They are rockets.

(not PowerPoints)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 11/05/2017 12:23 PM
But they absolutely do need it if they will launch commercial comsats AND launch 4000+ Starlink sats.

Not necessarily.

SpaceX wants to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites by the end of 2024, but each satellite is really small, so assuming 32 sats per launch, that's around 2 Falcon 9 launches per month.
...

So long as you consider 386kg (850lbs) and as 'big as a refrigerator' really small... 

With existing F9 fairing, will most likely be volume limited to 16-20 sats per launch -- larger fairing will help, but not likely to get to 32 per launch.  EM talked about 50-ish launches per year -- weekly -- for the LEO (4,425 sat) constellation; 7,500 VLEO sats almost triples the launch demand.

Not sure how Boca Chica fits into the picture, but flying this^ much out of the Cape plus Vandenberg will be difficult and expensive.

Whatever the final numbers, as I said, the BFR satellite delivery spacecraft will hold way more Starlink satellites, and it will be fully reusable, which means launch costs will be lower. So it's possible SpaceX may want to transition Starlink away from Falcon 9 sooner than later, and go straight to BFR at Boca Chica.

And by the way, given the backlash I've gotten for pointing out an obvious possibility, I have to ask:
Why is there so much emotional attachment to Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy?

Not emotional attachment, but a question of timing, and risk of delays to BFR. They need to get Starlink operational within the deadlines imposed by spectrum licensing. Also, they will want to get a leg up on OneWeb sooner rather than later to gain market share and revenue. Also, they don't want to reduce commercial and government launches in the mean time, rather, increase them because that provides revenue immediately.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/05/2017 12:54 PM
They are rockets.

(not PowerPoints)
They are rockets that SpaceX plans to scrap, like Falcon 1.

They need to get Starlink operational within the deadlines imposed by spectrum licensing.

Yes, this makes sense, but what's the minimum number of satellites they would need to meet these deadlines?

Could they risk the remainder on a lower cost launcher that's still in development?

Elon isn't risk averse.  Quite the opposite.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 11/05/2017 01:07 PM
1) What orbits do Starlink Sats need to get to? - I would guess high inclination orbits.
2) Can they get to them from BC? - No

So.... ?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 11/05/2017 01:10 PM
To fulfill licensing requirements they need to launch half of their constellation by end of 2023, so just over 2000, not over 4000. They will likely want more, but don't have to.

But it seems we are getting slightly OT for the Texas launch site thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 11/05/2017 01:11 PM
Elon isn't risk averse.  Quite the opposite.

But he is not suicidal
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 11/05/2017 01:14 PM

Yes, this makes sense, but what's the minimum number of satellites they would need to meet these deadlines?

There's a thread for Starlink discussion:

NOTE the FCC 6 year requirement on how many sats have to be deployed in that 6 year period is still undefined. The 800 sat value would be the smallest number probably acceptable with full deployment 4,425 sats the actual requirement without a waiver.

It is defined, 50% in six years and full deployment in 9 years (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41647.msg1720966#msg1720966)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 11/05/2017 01:25 PM
1) What orbits do Starlink Sats need to get to? - I would guess high inclination orbits.
2) Can they get to them from BC? - No

So.... ?

So, by launching GTO sats from BC that otherwise would need to launch from Cape Canaveral/KSC, that frees up launch slots at  Cape Canaveral/KSC, which can serve a wider range of azimuths.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/05/2017 01:38 PM
To fulfill licensing requirements they need to launch half of their constellation by end of 2023, so just over 2000, not over 4000. They will likely want more, but don't have to.

But it seems we are getting slightly OT for the Texas launch site thread.

The question at hand is: How will Starlink affect plans for the Texas launch site?

Specifically, will the Starlink launch rate force them to build an F9/FH pad at Boca Chica, or is it possible they might bypass F9/FH and go straight to a BFR pad there?

By the way, they started discussing this second possibility over on reddit first, so don't shoot the messenger.

Anyway, SpaceX intends to launch BFR to Mars in 2022.  Assuming they'll want several BFR LEO launches before then, that would start in 2021.  What better test payload than Starlink satellites?

So in addition to F9/FH launches from their existing 3 pads, that would give them 3 years worth of BFR launches to build out Starlink. Also remember that BFR launch costs will be significantly lower than Falcon 9.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 11/05/2017 02:00 PM
1) What orbits do Starlink Sats need to get to? - I would guess high inclination orbits.
2) Can they get to them from BC? - No
Yes.

Doglegs late in the ascent (needed to thread the needle, you can't dogleg early) impose ruinous penalties but if you're volume limited anyway....

NOT saying they will do this but it is possible. As discussed many times before.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/05/2017 02:05 PM
1) What orbits do Starlink Sats need to get to? - I would guess high inclination orbits.
2) Can they get to them from BC? - No
Yes.

Doglegs late in the ascent (needed to thread the needle, you can't dogleg early) impose ruinous penalties but if you're volume limited anyway....

NOT saying they will do this but it is possible. As discussed many times before.

By the way, nearly all of the property SpaceX purchased at Boca Chica is under the name "Dogleg Park LLC".
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 11/05/2017 02:15 PM
By the way, nearly all of the property SpaceX purchased at Boca Chica is under the name "Dogleg Park LLC".
That ain't about urination... Hidden in plain sight. (I never forgot this but some later readers might have)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/05/2017 02:46 PM
I should point out that lifting bodies like the BFS can reduce the delta-V needed for inclination changes by quite a large amount, nearly halving the delta-V required:

http://ccar.colorado.edu/asen5050/projects/projects_2012/phillips/
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/05/2017 03:10 PM
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, wild speculation gravitates towards an information vacuum... as proven time and time again on this site.

Also, people should really cease interpreting the Word of Elon like it’s some sort of holy scripture.

BC will happen - in what shape that  “happening” takes remains to be seen. That’s what makes the future so exciting. I think the best thing for this thread is for everyone to quit filling speculation noise, sit back, wait for our resident wanderlust to drift back in, and see what happens.

I for one long for the days where a new post on this thread was actually worth reading...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/05/2017 03:49 PM
I think the best thing for this thread is for everyone to quit filling speculation noise, sit back, wait for our resident wanderlust to drift back in...
SPITexas has been doing a great job of keeping us informed while Nomadd is away, with lots of pictures.

But there's not much happening. 

The only new development - they started clearing the grass just to the East of the antenna dishes.  No one knows why.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/05/2017 05:09 PM
BTW - kudos to you Dave G, and to SPITexas and BocaChicaGirl (where are you these days BCG?) for your contribution to this thread. It’s appreciated.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 11/05/2017 06:00 PM
1) What orbits do Starlink Sats need to get to? - I would guess high inclination orbits.
2) Can they get to them from BC? - No

So.... ?

1) see below for LEO birds.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: BadgerLegs on 11/05/2017 07:35 PM
So, by launching GTO sats from BC that otherwise would need to launch from Cape Canaveral/KSC, that frees up launch slots at  Cape Canaveral/KSC, which can serve a wider range of azimuths.
It seems pretty clear by the lack of a landing pad at Boca Chica that SpaceX intends to launch commercial GTO sats from there, perhaps exclusively. There was speculation about a landing pad, yes, but I haven't seen any work towards that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/05/2017 07:39 PM
The only new development - they started clearing the grass just to the East of the antenna dishes.  No one knows why.
They've mowed that before. It grew back from the rain this summer.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: llanitedave on 11/05/2017 09:53 PM
So, by launching GTO sats from BC that otherwise would need to launch from Cape Canaveral/KSC, that frees up launch slots at  Cape Canaveral/KSC, which can serve a wider range of azimuths.
It seems pretty clear by the lack of a landing pad at Boca Chica that SpaceX intends to launch commercial GTO sats from there, perhaps exclusively. There was speculation about a landing pad, yes, but I haven't seen any work towards that.

Landing pads are quick and easy.  That will be one of the last things they do.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/06/2017 02:28 AM
So, by launching GTO sats from BC that otherwise would need to launch from Cape Canaveral/KSC, that frees up launch slots at  Cape Canaveral/KSC, which can serve a wider range of azimuths.
It seems pretty clear by the lack of a landing pad at Boca Chica that SpaceX intends to launch commercial GTO sats from there, perhaps exclusively. There was speculation about a landing pad, yes, but I haven't seen any work towards that.
We haven't seen any work on the launch pad either, but that doesn't mean it wont happen.

We don't know what will happen.

Yes, Falcon 9 GTO launches would probably use ASDS, not a landing pad.  But larger comsats may require Falcon Heavy, in which case the side boosters may return to landing pads near the launch site.

And again, folks on reddit are saying they'll bypass F9/FH at Boca Chica altogether and go straight to BFR, in which case there would be no need for separate landing pads.

We just don't know.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/06/2017 03:39 AM
So, by launching GTO sats from BC that otherwise would need to launch from Cape Canaveral/KSC, that frees up launch slots at  Cape Canaveral/KSC, which can serve a wider range of azimuths.
It seems pretty clear by the lack of a landing pad at Boca Chica that SpaceX intends to launch commercial GTO sats from there, perhaps exclusively. There was speculation about a landing pad, yes, but I haven't seen any work towards that.
We haven't seen any work on the launch pad either, but that doesn't mean it wont happen.

We don't know what will happen.

Yes, Falcon 9 GTO launches would probably use ASDS, not a landing pad.  But larger comsats may require Falcon Heavy, in which case the side boosters may return to landing pads near the launch site.

And again, folks on reddit are saying they'll bypass F9/FH at Boca Chica altogether and go straight to BFR, in which case there would be no need for separate landing pads.

We just don't know.

I’m quoting some BFR info here, bear with me 2 possibilities.   “a facility to build the vehicles is under construction; construction will start on the first ship in 2Q2018“.     Are there any facilities being built at the Florida sites or VANDY launch site for the BFR? The only one under Contruction is Boca Chica.  But mostly the F9 rockets  come from VANDY. My guess they’ll build the BFR/Ship at VANDY or Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/06/2017 03:46 AM
BTW - kudos to you Dave G, and to SPITexas and BocaChicaGirl (where are you these days BCG?) for your contribution to this thread. It’s appreciated.

Thanks Johnny everyone of us appreciate that,  from Deep South Texas, don’t forget about Nomadd mostly he’s the man and Dave G also hats off to them. they've been here longer than us Bocachicxagirl and me.  Thank god we live close to the site so we won’t have to drive so far away to just find out what’s there or not.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/06/2017 04:33 AM
My guess they’ll build the BFR/Ship at VANDY or Boca Chica.

There's a whole other thread called: Where will BFR be built?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43871.0

Gwynne Shotwell said BFR will be built at a new facility by the water in Los Angeles, but eventually they'll also build BFR near their launch sites.

There's a lot of speculation on that thread about exactly where this new L.A. manufacturing facility will be.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: midnightrider3000 on 11/06/2017 04:55 AM

I’m quoting some BFR info here, bear with me 2 possibilities.   “a facility to build the vehicles is under construction; construction will start on the first ship in 2Q2018“.     Are there any facilities being built at the Florida sites or VANDY launch site for the BFR? The only one under Contruction is Boca Chica.  But mostly the F9 rockets  come from VANDY. My guess they’ll build the BFR/Ship at VANDY or Boca Chica.

Dang, I can't believe I'm commenting on this and continuing this thread within a thread. :-X  But....

I doubt they would risk their only launch pad on the west coast testing the BFR. Poof, and no more launches for a while.  So you can probably rule out VANDY.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/06/2017 05:57 AM
I doubt they would risk their only launch pad on the west coast testing the BFR. Poof, and no more launches for a while.  So you can probably rule out VANDY.

As for where BFR will launch from first, maybe there's another thread that already covers this.  If not, you can start a new thread called: Where will BFR launch from first?

This thread covers the Texas launch site, and includes both Updates (news, pictures, etc.) and Discussion (speculation, related facts, humor, etc.).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bocachicagal on 11/08/2017 06:08 PM
Pics of the building going up around the crane. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 11/08/2017 06:13 PM
I wonder how long it will pupate for, and what it will emerge to find in time... until then crane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/08/2017 11:03 PM
Question are SpaceX staff building the structure over the crane ?  Pretty obvious it’s SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/08/2017 11:33 PM
Question are SpaceX staff building the structure over the crane ?  Pretty obvious it’s SpaceX.
SpaceX staff doesn't construct warehouses. There might be one of their interns there, but I doubt much else. Contractors do that stuff.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ChrisC on 11/09/2017 04:27 AM
Pics of the building going up around the crane. :)

Welcome back!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/09/2017 09:32 AM
Pics of the building going up around the crane. :)
About time you showed up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/09/2017 12:13 PM
Crane at Boca Chica matches up like the one at the damaged pad 40 last year, it’s not the crane they used for the dishes or that small struture over the crane. Longer and bigger.    But excited to see pad 40 launch in December tho, I’m very emotional it’s coming back now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bocachicagal on 11/13/2017 07:44 PM
Pics of the Stargate building.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Rogerstigers on 11/13/2017 07:53 PM
Is that the housing for the lift, then?   Looks to be the right size.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/14/2017 12:45 AM
zoomed in, cropped, and level adjusted for more detail

and here's what it's supposed to look like when it's finished
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: biosehnsucht on 11/14/2017 07:40 AM
Looks like the render has the roof slant on the lift 90 degrees from what they're actually building?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: mme on 11/14/2017 03:41 PM
Looks like the render has the roof slant on the lift 90 degrees from what they're actually building?
I believe it's exaggerated perspective in the rendering combined with a viewing angle that hides the roofline.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/14/2017 06:02 PM
Anticipated Completion on
SpaceCraft
Tracking
Astronomical
Research into
Giga-Hertz
Astrophysical
Transient
Emission

2017
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/14/2017 08:39 PM
Looks like the render has the roof slant on the lift 90 degrees from what they're actually building?
I noticed that as well.

On the rendering, it looks like the elevator roof line is sloping west, toward the main roof.

But in the picture, it looks like the elevator roof line is sloping south, toward Hwy 4.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 11/14/2017 08:55 PM
Looks like the render has the roof slant on the lift 90 degrees from what they're actually building?
I believe it's exaggerated perspective in the rendering combined with a viewing angle that hides the roofline.
I really don't think so although I could be wrong, I think the render (rather than the building, although it DOES happen) is wrong.

The swoopy thing over the doorway is just for show I assume?  Is it going to have solar panels on it? I guess the architect watched too much SG-1 ???
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 11/14/2017 09:06 PM
I'm with Lar on this... the render is outdated and they late changed the slope direction to as shown...

Runoff in the rain will splatter down the back side away from the front door is likely what drove the change...
Also... in my opinion... it will look more balanced on the front side as a walk up view...  ;)

Guess we will find out soon enough when it's finished...  8)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/15/2017 12:33 AM
 Almost recovered from the three digit proof polinka tasting incident in Transylvania, and should be back to picture taking in Boca Chica next week.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/15/2017 02:45 AM
The swoopy thing over the doorway is just for show I assume?  Is it going to have solar panels on it? I guess the architect watched too much SG-1 ???

Also looks like solar panels to me, though not well placed for maximum sun exposure.

Note that some of the university students had a lot to do with making the Stargate project a reality, perhaps more than the faculty.
http://www.expressnews.com/business/local/article/SpaceX-leads-space-exploration-renaissance-and-10872954.php
Quote
UT Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville Dr. Frederick Jenet is pushing ahead with the school’s STARGATE program...

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.

With this in mind, perhaps the university students also influenced the design of the Stargate front doorway area.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bocachicagal on 11/16/2017 09:59 PM
Been a lot of activity at the Ground Tracking Station the last couple days. They have started to clear the land next to the tracking station.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/17/2017 01:58 PM
Been a lot of activity at the Ground Tracking Station the last couple days. They have started to clear the land next to the tracking station.
What the tractors are working on might be a building, I’m hearing they will put a fence up around it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bocachicagal on 11/17/2017 07:14 PM
More pics. :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/21/2017 08:24 PM
http://www.512tech.com/technology/progress-slow-spacex-planned-south-texas-spaceport/1R1yN1aM7FsO2XGBr4uOJI/

A must read SpaceX still aiming for a late 2018 launch
Sept. 30th, 2018 the deadline for it to be done.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 11/21/2017 08:43 PM
The good news is that LC-40 is about to go back on line, and the conversion of LC-39A for FH is a couple months from done. 
Boca Chica is next... hopefully.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/21/2017 09:00 PM
The good news is that LC-40 is about to go back on line, and the conversion of LC-39A for FH is a couple months from done. 
Boca Chica is next... hopefully.

LC-39A classified Zuma Launch is delayed till December probably delaying the FH launch but, as of right now there probably modifying LC39A just in time for the FH still scheduled to launch in December 29th. Static fire for FH is December 15th.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kansan52 on 11/21/2017 09:21 PM
So the building frame shown in the video is for a building covering the crane sections?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/21/2017 09:40 PM
 Back home.
 It looks like they found a few more pieces for the 2nd dish. It has the elevation locks installed and doesn't need chains.
 They're working next to the dish lot on both sides. Mostly the east side.
 The framework for the Cranezilla warehouse looks pretty much complete.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Zardar on 11/21/2017 09:41 PM
http://www.512tech.com/technology/progress-slow-spacex-planned-south-texas-spaceport/1R1yN1aM7FsO2XGBr4uOJI/

A must read SpaceX still aiming for a late 2018 launch
Sept. 30th, 2018 the deadline for it to be done.

To be realistic, I'd add a year to that (at least). Right now, they don't have much more than a big pile of earth.

LC-40, with existing infrastructure and flame trench took over two years from construction start (apr 2008) to first launch (June 2010)
After the Atmos-6 incident in Sept 2016, it will take at least 15 months just to repair/re-construct it for the next expected launch (for CRS-13 in Dec 2017)

Space-X signed the lease on 39-A in Apr 2014. Although they had the new HIF up by 2015, it was still Feb 2017 before they re-modelled the existing pad and did the first launch (CRS-10).

On the east coast, at SLC-4W, spacex started demolition in summer 2011, but didn't launch from there until sept 2013.

So, going on past history, it takes spacex 2 years+ to re-model an existing launch site.  Expecting them to spend extra capital to try to do it faster, on a site with limited infrastructure, especially when they don't desperately need it to fulfil their medium-term (< 2 yrs) manifest is a fallacy.






Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/21/2017 09:46 PM
http://www.512tech.com/technology/progress-slow-spacex-planned-south-texas-spaceport/1R1yN1aM7FsO2XGBr4uOJI/

A must read SpaceX still aiming for a late 2018 launch
Sept. 30th, 2018 the deadline for it to be done.

To be realistic, I'd add a year to that (at least). Right now, they don't have much more than a big pile of earth.

LC-40, with existing infrastructure and flame trench took over two years from construction start (apr 2008) to first launch (June 2010)
After the Atmos-6 incident in Sept 2016, it will take at least 15 months just to repair/re-construct it for the next expected launch (for CRS-13 in Dec 2017)

Space-X signed the lease on 39-A in Apr 2014. Although they had the new HIF up by 2015, it was still Feb 2017 before they re-modelled the existing pad and did the first launch (CRS-10).

On the east coast, at SLC-4W, spacex started demolition in summer 2011, but didn't launch from there until sept 2013.

So, going on past history, it takes spacex 2 years+ to re-model an existing launch site.  Expecting them to spend extra capital to try to do it faster, on a site with limited infrastructure, especially when they don't desperately need it to fulfil their medium-term (< 2 yrs) manifest is a fallacy.


On the other hand, expecting everything with the existing pads to go perfectly with no problems that might make one or both unexpectedly unavailable is the height of realistic thinking.
 Waiting until you're desperate isn't usually the best way to plan.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kansan52 on 11/21/2017 10:07 PM
Well, things for 2018, this is a new site so no removal, no work to adapt old to new, and plenty of hard won experience on other sites.

Things against, lots of work, cash flow, and the likelihood that plans are still in flux on how to build a site that can support F9, FH, and BFR.

One big plus for the BC site is that the commercial customers want the access this site will provide (unless plans change).

However, just guessing here, SX will ask for an extension without penalty. Likely citing the soil conditions as a reason for the extension
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Zardar on 11/21/2017 10:11 PM
http://www.512tech.com/technology/progress-slow-spacex-planned-south-texas-spaceport/1R1yN1aM7FsO2XGBr4uOJI/

A must read SpaceX still aiming for a late 2018 launch
Sept. 30th, 2018 the deadline for it to be done.

To be realistic, I'd add a year to that (at least).

....

On the other hand, expecting everything with the existing pads to go perfectly with no problems that might make one or both unexpectedly unavailable is the height of realistic thinking.
 Waiting until you're desperate isn't usually the best way to plan.

Personally, I'd agree totally with that approach. It's just that spacex has generally followed a JIT (or even NET if they can get away with it) approach to both infrastructure build-out and and rocket construction/assembly.
There has been signs recently of a willingness to allocate more resources to contingency - e.g. the spare containers used to quickly fix the drone ship after the roomba-roasting, but (like any prudent company) they won't generally spend resources on stuff that isn't needed before its needed. 

They have been 'caught wasting' (in hindsight) money before, i.e the whole spaceport america thing, the unused flame trench at Mcgregor, and the big crane at Boca Chica that is unused so long they have had to build a shed over it.

It's a trade-off, probably passionately made at the highest level, between spending capital on a risk-reduction option, vs using it to progress ongoing R&D or operations.
Several hundred millions of concrete, re-bar, structural steel and GSE stuff to build a spaceport, and then staff it before you really need it, will buy a hell of a lot of composite tooling and raptor testing.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kansan52 on 11/21/2017 10:29 PM

They have been 'caught wasting' (in hindsight) money before, i.e the whole spaceport america thing, the unused flame trench at Mcgregor, and the big crane at Boca Chica that is unused so long they have had to build a shed over it.


Not disagreeing but from another perspective, all signs of a company willing to change plans as needed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 11/21/2017 10:52 PM
Exactly, a company that understands the sunk costs fallacy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 11/22/2017 02:16 AM

They have been 'caught wasting' (in hindsight) money before, i.e the whole spaceport america thing, the unused flame trench at Mcgregor, and the big crane at Boca Chica that is unused so long they have had to build a shed over it.


This is a puzzling thing. What they build there is much more massive than a shelter for the crane would need to be. That would be a tent.

So clearly they are planning something.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: topo334 on 11/22/2017 02:26 AM
Could the crane kit be stacked on the  site of a planned building (hanger perhaps) and Spacex, experiencing changed priorities, decided to enclose the previously ordered crane in a a building which they will need later in order to protect the crane which they will use later.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/22/2017 02:44 AM
 It's a 50 year old foundation whose building was destroyed by a hurricane the same year it was built. It's a convenient place for a quick warehouse and just happens to be the right size for the crane parts. Custom cranes that size need to be ordered a ways in advance, and they probably needed to take delivery by a certain date. Temporary buildings aren't a good idea in hurricane country and a decent building with a real frame will have plenty of potential uses once the crane is wherever it winds up. It's a little low, but as long as the expensive stuff is a few feet off the floor, it should be out of any storm surge.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ChrisC on 11/22/2017 03:53 AM
Back home.

Hooray!!!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ajmarco on 11/22/2017 12:33 PM
Looks like they are preparing for construction of a new building or buildings on the cleared lot with the tracking pad and washout station setup.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: jebbo on 11/22/2017 12:38 PM
Given the FCC filings for testing the Starlink stuff include Cameron County and pretty heft transmitter powers,  I wonder if it could be a ground station for that?

--- Tony
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/22/2017 01:34 PM
Looks like they are preparing for construction of a new building or buildings on the cleared lot with the tracking pad and washout station setup.

Do you mean the area circled in red below?

If so, current speculation is this will be a parking lot, based on comments from a Brownsville official.

If it is a parking area, I suspect they'll put up solar panels over the parking spaces.  This could help to power the antenna dishes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/22/2017 03:27 PM
 The guys working on the lots by the dishes don't know what they're for. They're just putting a limestone road and pads there right now. There's a good size size generator by the container next to the dishes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/23/2017 06:46 PM
 It looks like some of the old hydraulic dish drives and waveguide whatsits sitting out in the rain, but all that is probably getting replaced.
 Nothing but grubbing and fence building on the runoff control permit but they're also hauling in fill to replace the layer they scraped off and raise the site a bit.
 The idea that things are moving right along isn't really helped when you have trees growing through your crane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/23/2017 07:19 PM
Lol!!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/24/2017 12:21 AM
It looks like some of the old hydraulic dish drives and waveguide whatsits sitting out in the rain, but all that is probably getting replaced.
 Nothing but grubbing and fence building on the runoff control permit but they're also hauling in fill to replace the layer they scraped off and raise the site a bit.
 The idea that things are moving right along isn't really helped when you have trees growing through your crane.

Just checking, Is the clearing and grubbing talking about those 2 lots surrounding the tracking dishes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: vaporcobra on 11/24/2017 05:18 AM
Great shots, nomadd!

Found an awesome pic and a talkative contractor from a day or so ago (PM me for the account if interested, for the sake of privacy).

Asked what the crane was intended for:

Me: Any idea what that crane is for?
Him: it's for standing up the rocket or ship for for takeoff
Him: This building's actually coming back down in about 2 - 3 years when they're ready to start launching

Given the likelihood that he's a contractor, take it with grains of salt. Nevertheless, seems pretty accurate, particularly with the differentiation between "rocket" and "ship" with respect to BFR/BFS. Color me intrigued!

(https://instagram.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/t51.2885-15/e35/23823533_495078400877610_547296592923721728_n.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Semmel on 11/24/2017 05:29 AM
Yeah, sounds like it fits with the design of BFR/BFS. I don't think we will see a TEL for either BFR or BFS. Only the launch mount and the crane are required, plus a crew access tower if the launch pad supports crew. All the piping and umbilicals will come through the launch mount. BFS is fueled through BFR, no TEL required. This setup is vastly simpler and cheaper than the F9 launch pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 11/24/2017 01:39 PM
Yup, and the rocket stays vertical throughout its lifetime*, as it should.

*While on the ground, that is.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/24/2017 02:50 PM
Great shots, nomadd!

Found an awesome pic and a talkative contractor from a day or so ago (PM me for the account if interested, for the sake of privacy).

Asked what the crane was intended for:

Me: Any idea what that crane is for?
Him: it's for standing up the rocket or ship for for takeoff
Him: This building's actually coming back down in about 2 - 3 years when they're ready to start launching

Given the likelihood that he's a contractor, take it with grains of salt. Nevertheless, seems pretty accurate, particularly with the differentiation between "rocket" and "ship" with respect to BFR/BFS. Color me intrigued!

The main things missing for the crane seem to be the cylindrical base sections, but they're probably not anything special and can be procured any time. There's no telling how tall this thing will be.
 I've looked at hundreds of cranes and haven't seen one like this. It looks like a gantry type, but has a pivot on one end. And it was probably ordered when the plans for the site were different that they are now. I'm betting it will be used for construction first and have a second life in ops later.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/24/2017 04:15 PM
in 2-3 yrs. “The company publicly stated an aspirational goal for initial Mars-bound cargo flights of BFR launching as early as 2022, followed by the first BFR flight with passengers one synodic period later, in 2024“ SpaceX confirmed.
  Ok that answers everybody’s question in here since Sept. 29th yes the BFR will launch from Boca Chica.
Musk certainly proposed this site to launch a Mars rocket years ago.  If SpaceX wants to launch from Boca Chica they can modify the launch pad for the BFR while constructing it. That sounds like what there gonna do.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 11/24/2017 07:01 PM
Great shots, nomadd!

Found an awesome pic and a talkative contractor from a day or so ago (PM me for the account if interested, for the sake of privacy).

Asked what the crane was intended for:

Me: Any idea what that crane is for?
Him: it's for standing up the rocket or ship for for takeoff
Him: This building's actually coming back down in about 2 - 3 years when they're ready to start launching

Given the likelihood that he's a contractor, take it with grains of salt. Nevertheless, seems pretty accurate, particularly with the differentiation between "rocket" and "ship" with respect to BFR/BFS. Color me intrigued!


I'm getting a kick out of the fact that the construction contractor is fully versed on the nuances of the launch sequence.  :)

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/25/2017 03:13 AM

I'm getting a kick out of the fact that the construction contractor is fully versed on the nuances of the launch sequence.  :)

I've given directions to contractors looking for the "NASA rocket site". I think it's a pretty good bet the plans for this place aren't settled at any level yet.
 I'm still digesting the Ashley Vance book, and I know he made plenty of errors, but it was still valuable resource for understanding the way things tend to work, and I realize the only constant is change in this business.
 The idea of not seeing Falcon launches from my yard fraks me off to no end, and I can't figure out why SpaceX even exists if not to fulfill the fantasy I've had since I was nine years old, but I'll get over it. It'll be a good ride over the next few years no matter what happens.
 At least I got to stand on a bench and sing "Ein Prosit" this year.

 *I didn't say "fraks" I'm surprised this damn Mary Poppins bad word bot lets people type BFR*
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/25/2017 10:08 AM
I think it's a pretty good bet the plans for this place aren't settled at any level yet.

I agree.

A few months ago, I thought the whole thing was set, and they would basically just build what was specified in the EIS, with a few relatively minor adjustments, as soon as they were done building the pads in Florida.

But in September, Elon announced BFR will replace F9, FH and Dragon, and that they're aiming for the first BFR Mars missions in 2022, just 5 years from today.  This is a huge change in direction for SpaceX, and in my mind, it throws all near-term plans for the Texas launch site into question.

To be clear, it would be great if we see F9 launching from Boca Chica this time next year.  I'd be very happy.

But if SpaceX is really serious about BFR replacing F9/FH, and with such an aggressive BFR schedule, at a minimum they would probably want to modify the launch site plans to also accommodate BFR, which may take some time.  And on the other hand, why build a launch pad for a rocket they plan to obsolete in 5-7 years, especially when they have 3 other pads?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/25/2017 01:06 PM
  And on the other hand, why build a launch pad for a rocket they plan to obsolete in 5-7 years, especially when they have 3 other pads?
Because Vandenberg isn't really part of the equation since it's mainly only for very high inclination launches, and with one pad in Florida always being upgraded, repaired or modified, and all the common elements that could take both Florida pads out for a time, they're only one incident away from being without a pad for most of their launches. It just seems short sighted to me, not having the extra launch capability and making decisions on the the shutdown of the Falcon program based on the hope of an entirely new system being online in a few years.
 Maybe they can't start the pad here without the BFR design being locked down, or they're working on an entirely new EIS and talking to Texas authorities or something. Hopefully the fact I'm not getting any younger is a major factor in their decision making.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 11/25/2017 01:33 PM
You might have a front row seat for the first BFS launches and landings... should be enough to satisfy a bit of your need.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Semmel on 11/25/2017 01:34 PM
The problem is, once BFR starts flying from a pad, no other rocket can launch from that pad because BFR will sit on the launch mount and hatch eggs.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 11/25/2017 02:08 PM
The problem is, once BFR starts flying from a pad, no other rocket can launch from that pad because BFR will sit on the launch mount and hatch eggs.

They should be able to move the BFR away by some distance using the crane. BFR and crane are at risk from a RUD at the pad but not by a normal launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RonM on 11/25/2017 02:58 PM
Is there room for two pads and a landing site at BC?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: billh on 11/25/2017 03:10 PM
Hopefully the fact I'm not getting any younger is a major factor in their decision making.
Hear, hear!!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/25/2017 03:13 PM
  And on the other hand, why build a launch pad for a rocket they plan to obsolete in 5-7 years, especially when they have 3 other pads?
Because Vandenberg isn't really part of the equation since it's mainly only for very high inclination launches, and with one pad in Florida always being upgraded, repaired or modified, and all the common elements that could take both Florida pads out for a time, they're only one incident away from being without a pad for most of their launches.
Good points.

It just seems short sighted to me... making decisions on the the shutdown of the Falcon program based on the hope of an entirely new system being online in a few years.

And yet, that seems to be the plan Elon laid out in September.  Here's exactly what Elon said:

"So then getting back to the question of how do we pay for this system, this is really quite a profound — I won't call it breakthrough, but realization that if we can build a system that cannibalizes our own products, makes our own products redundant, then all of the resources, which are quite enormous, that are used for Falcon 9, Heavy, and Dragon, can be applied to one system.

Some of our customers are conservative and they want to see BFR fly several times before they're comfortable launching in it, so what we plan to do is to build ahead, and have a stock of Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles, so that customers can be comfortable if they want to use the old rocket, the old spacecraft, they can do that, we'll have a bunch in stock. But then all of our resources will then turn towards building BFR. And we believe that we can do this with the revenue we receive for launching satellites and for servicing the space station."


http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-25
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: billh on 11/25/2017 03:19 PM
It just seems short sighted to me... making decisions on the the shutdown of the Falcon program based on the hope of an entirely new system being online in a few years.

And yet, that seems to be the plan Elon laid out in September.  Here's exactly what Elon said:

"So then getting back to the question of how do we pay for this system, this is really quite a profound — I won't call it breakthrough, but realization that if we can build a system that cannibalizes our own products, makes our own products redundant, then all of the resources, which are quite enormous, that are used for Falcon 9, Heavy, and Dragon, can be applied to one system.

Some of our customers are conservative and they want to see BFR fly several times before they're comfortable launching in it, so what we plan to do is to build ahead, and have a stock of Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles, so that customers can be comfortable if they want to use the old rocket, the old spacecraft, they can do that, we'll have a bunch in stock. But then all of our resources will then turn towards building BFR. And we believe that we can do this with the revenue we receive for launching satellites and for servicing the space station."


http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-25

I think they've tried to walk that back a little so as not to spook their customers. Here's what Gwynne Shotwell said to SpaceNews this week:

“We are going to fly Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy as long as our customers want us to be flying those. We will be flying BFR at the same time and we anticipate that given both stages are reusable, that the value proposition for BFR  — even though it’s a bigger vehicle —  will be better for our customers. We do believe they will want to come over to BFR, but we will be flying Falcon 9s and Falcon Heavies until our customers are comfortable moving over,” she said.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 11/25/2017 03:30 PM
It just seems short sighted to me... making decisions on the the shutdown of the Falcon program based on the hope of an entirely new system being online in a few years.

And yet, that seems to be the plan Elon laid out in September.  Here's exactly what Elon said:

"So then getting back to the question of how do we pay for this system, this is really quite a profound — I won't call it breakthrough, but realization that if we can build a system that cannibalizes our own products, makes our own products redundant, then all of the resources, which are quite enormous, that are used for Falcon 9, Heavy, and Dragon, can be applied to one system.

Some of our customers are conservative and they want to see BFR fly several times before they're comfortable launching in it, so what we plan to do is to build ahead, and have a stock of Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles, so that customers can be comfortable if they want to use the old rocket, the old spacecraft, they can do that, we'll have a bunch in stock. But then all of our resources will then turn towards building BFR. And we believe that we can do this with the revenue we receive for launching satellites and for servicing the space station."


http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-25

I think they've tried to walk that back a little so as not to spook their customers. Here's what Gwynne Shotwell said to SpaceNews this week:

“We are going to fly Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy as long as our customers want us to be flying those. We will be flying BFR at the same time and we anticipate that given both stages are reusable, that the value proposition for BFR  — even though it’s a bigger vehicle —  will be better for our customers. We do believe they will want to come over to BFR, but we will be flying Falcon 9s and Falcon Heavies until our customers are comfortable moving over,” she said.

A look at the bolded statement above shows the proper sequence... turn all resources toward 'building' the BFR, while funding the works 'with the revenue we receive for launching satellites and for servicing the space station'.  Launching satellites and servicing the space station will remain their revenue source while building/testing/proving the BFR. 

It would be surprising, though not impossible, for Boca Chica to be BFR-only.  Designs can be used that allow both vehicles such as they might be envisioning for LC-39A.  Building launch facilities from scratch at a launch site that is not yet active and fully under their control should be even easier.  (An example is the duration and effort needed to remove the RSS at LC-39A while conducting launches there and satisfying NASA's constraints vs. simply blowing it up as originally planned.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 11/25/2017 03:56 PM
We are still stuck with the presumption that BFR will be too loud for the Boca Chica Beach location. So either an offshore pad needs to be built, or BFR is not as loud/dangerous as we think, or (sorry Nomadd) the State of Texas will use eminent domain to move people out of the area.

So, what are the chances BFR will be completely acceptable to launch from the Boca Chica Beach site? If not, and they build an offshore platform for BFR, why not build a Falcon pad also? Some millions spent, but major risk mitigation in case something bad happens at the Cape, like a major hurricane, and it will help to increase launch cadence.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 11/25/2017 04:39 PM
If you're building the complex from scratch, I don't see why building for BFR from the get go precludes F9.

Especially since they're still talking about using BC relatively soon, it has to be with F9.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 11/25/2017 05:47 PM
Another thing that changed at the September 2017 IAC was the introduction of offshore launch and landing facilities for BFR.  Sure it was in the point to point future application, but offshore facilities are now officially congruent with SpaceX's visionary plans.  Not just someone's alternative.

Therefore I believe that the case for offshore launches of BFR class rockets is more likely than not.  Solves lots of beach access problems and acoustic impact problems at Boca.  And since Cape Canaveral also has shallow seas even 20 miles offshore, possibility for offshore pad growth there exists.

Certainly if BFS eventually evolves to the 28 million Lbf thrust monster presented at IAC 2016 or even larger, launch facilities can't be within 10 miles or less of populated areas.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/25/2017 07:01 PM
If you're building the complex from scratch, I don't see why building for BFR from the get go precludes F9.

Especially since they're still talking about using BC relatively soon, it has to be with F9.

Yeah there’s no doubtng the fact, if SpaceX builds this site from scratch by the time there done building it it will be ready for the BFR. Modify it while constructing the launch pad. For the BFS or BFR. so they won’t have to do it later on. If they want to launch in 2022, 4 years from now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/25/2017 08:25 PM
It just seems short sighted to me... making decisions on the the shutdown of the Falcon program based on the hope of an entirely new system being online in a few years.

And yet, that seems to be the plan Elon laid out in September.  Here's exactly what Elon said:

"So then getting back to the question of how do we pay for this system, this is really quite a profound — I won't call it breakthrough, but realization that if we can build a system that cannibalizes our own products, makes our own products redundant, then all of the resources, which are quite enormous, that are used for Falcon 9, Heavy, and Dragon, can be applied to one system.

Some of our customers are conservative and they want to see BFR fly several times before they're comfortable launching in it, so what we plan to do is to build ahead, and have a stock of Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles, so that customers can be comfortable if they want to use the old rocket, the old spacecraft, they can do that, we'll have a bunch in stock. But then all of our resources will then turn towards building BFR. And we believe that we can do this with the revenue we receive for launching satellites and for servicing the space station."


http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-25

I think they've tried to walk that back a little so as not to spook their customers. Here's what Gwynne Shotwell said to SpaceNews this week:

“We are going to fly Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy as long as our customers want us to be flying those. We will be flying BFR at the same time and we anticipate that given both stages are reusable, that the value proposition for BFR  — even though it’s a bigger vehicle —  will be better for our customers. We do believe they will want to come over to BFR, but we will be flying Falcon 9s and Falcon Heavies until our customers are comfortable moving over,” she said.

A look at the bolded statement above shows the proper sequence... turn all resources toward 'building' the BFR, while funding the works 'with the revenue we receive for launching satellites and for servicing the space station'.  Launching satellites and servicing the space station will remain their revenue source while building/testing/proving the BFR. 

Elon's statement above implies they'll be launching Falcon and Dragon long after they've stopped building them.

Specifically, he says they'll "build ahead, and have a stock of Falcon 9 and Dragon vehicles" such that they "have a bunch in stock".

Obviously, SpaceX would need to build ahead more of the expendable, and fewer of the reusable parts if the vehicle.  Note that SpaceX has attempted to recover the payload fairing on every recent launch.  If they succeed, then the only expendable items would be the Falcon upper stage and Dragon trunk. 

So if SpaceX were to build ahead a lot of Falcon upper stages and Dragon trunks, plus a few more of reusable items, and then store them all somewhere, this could be enough to satisfy their entire launch schedule for a few years.

So the way I read it, Elon and Gwynne's statements above are compatible, and SpaceX plans to stop building their current Falcon / Dragon vehicles within the next few years, and concentrate the full company on building BFR.

If I'm interpreting this correctly, then this could certainly affect near-term plans for the Texas launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/25/2017 08:57 PM
Another thing that changed at the September 2017 IAC was the introduction of offshore launch and landing facilities for BFR.  Sure it was in the point to point future application, but offshore facilities are now officially congruent with SpaceX's visionary plans.  Not just someone's alternative.

Therefore I believe that the case for offshore launches of BFR class rockets is more likely than not.  Solves lots of beach access problems and acoustic impact problems at Boca.

While an offshore pad is certainly possible, at this point, I have no idea if it's more likely or not.

The only thing I would note is that, even with an offshore BFR pad, I'm assuming most of the launch site facilities would still be at Boca Chica.

Specifically, I'm thinking an offshore pad would be permanently connected with the ocean floor, with cables and flexible pipe running underwater back to Boca Chica Beach, where they would still have storage tanks for propellant, deluge water, etc.

The control center and tracking facilities would still be in Boca Chica Village.  The payload processing facility would be nearby, perhaps along the Brownsville shipping channel.  They may also have a hangar there for booster maintenance and/or storage.

In other words, while an offshore BFR pad would certainly change some things, many things would stay the same.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: smndk on 11/25/2017 09:04 PM
Based upon what Elon Musk said about Boca Chica at  ISS R&D Conference in July this year, I get the impression, that they at least at that point planned Boca Chica as a backup launch site for their space coast launch sites. Of course one could interpret that as a backup launch site for the BFR only, but I dont find that very likely, as the context is servicing the ISS.

You can find it 20 minutes into the following youtube video:
ISS R&D Conference July 2017 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv5LjA62Uw8&t=8s)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/25/2017 11:25 PM
Of course one could interpret that as a backup launch site for the BFR only, but I dont find that very likely, as the context is servicing the ISS.

Here's one of the slides Musk showed in September.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 11/26/2017 12:27 AM
Here's one of the slides Musk showed in September.

The dragon/dragon 2 also (just) fits out of the door shown on the BFS, which would be a way to avoid any recertification at all.
Refurb gets rather easier if there is little thermal cycling with fire and it doesn't get wet.

This doesn't help for lifeboat, or crew transfer, unless BFS is OK for crew, which is a different issue.

Two launches per dragon mission would of course let you recover trunk and dragon intact.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: su27k on 11/26/2017 02:55 AM
one pad in Florida always being upgraded, repaired or modified, and all the common elements that could take both Florida pads out for a time, they're only one incident away from being without a pad for most of their launches.

Have to disagree again with this. There is not much upgrade/modification to do with SLC-40 anymore. For 39A, only two potential upgrade/modification is in cards: Vertical Integration and BFR. I don't think VI would require a huge change, and if Boca Chica will be constructed for BFR, then there's no need to modify 39A for it.

Also remember whatever incidents that disable a launch pad would require months of stand down for investigation anyway, any upgrade/repair/modification that can be finished in say 3 months is not a concern for redundancy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/26/2017 03:09 AM
 Pretty good recent drone video in this article.
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/trending-now/progress-slow-at-spacexs-planned-spaceport/652351184#
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 11/26/2017 06:39 AM
one pad in Florida always being upgraded, repaired or modified, and all the common elements that could take both Florida pads out for a time, they're only one incident away from being without a pad for most of their launches.

Have to disagree again with this. There is not much upgrade/modification to do with SLC-40 anymore. For 39A, only two potential upgrade/modification is in cards: Vertical Integration and BFR. I don't think VI would require a huge change, and if Boca Chica will be constructed for BFR, then there's no need to modify 39A for it.

Also remember whatever incidents that disable a launch pad would require months of stand down for investigation anyway, any upgrade/repair/modification that can be finished in say 3 months is not a concern for redundancy.

Welp let’s hope SpaceX can finish this Texas launch site before they can meet there Sept. 30th, 2018 deadline there still very confident they can finish the whole site next year I’ll give them that nothing wrong with that,
 Also just Incase they can have Boca Chica as a backup, but lately after all the incidents in Florida SpaceX is being very careful with there launches now.  Falcon Heavy most of All hope that goes well in December.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 11/26/2017 06:45 AM
one pad in Florida always being upgraded, repaired or modified, and all the common elements that could take both Florida pads out for a time, they're only one incident away from being without a pad for most of their launches.

Have to disagree again with this. There is not much upgrade/modification to do with SLC-40 anymore. For 39A, only two potential upgrade/modification is in cards: Vertical Integration and BFR. I don't think VI would require a huge change, and if Boca Chica will be constructed for BFR, then there's no need to modify 39A for it.

If they bid for the EELV 2 contract as I expect they need to launch from Florida.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Cheapchips on 11/26/2017 09:00 AM

Won't they be able to fly the test BFS out of Texas without noise issues?  I'm assuming 3 raptors are about as noisy as 9 Merlin's.

It would allow them to test their launch/landing cradle and plumbing without doing it at sea.  Given the common diameter, a cradled landing ,refuel, relaunch of BFS would presumably give them some useful data and practice for when the booster starts flying.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 11/26/2017 10:13 AM

Won't they be able to fly the test BFS out of Texas without noise issues?  I'm assuming 3 raptors are about as noisy as 9 Merlin's.

It would allow them to test their launch/landing cradle and plumbing without doing it at sea.  Given the common diameter, a cradled landing ,refuel, relaunch of BFS would presumably give them some useful data and practice for when the booster starts flying.

The BFS does not land on a cradle. It will need a landing pad. Which is not part of the EIS and the construction layout yet but can probably be added without major hassle but would need an updated EIS. Or they land downrange on a barge.

I think they could launch even the BFR, the first stage with up to 12 engines installed and partly fueled. That should still be within the range of FH noise, or sufficiently below, so they can use the full 12 launches per year on it. Again probably a modified permit needed as it was previously for F9/FH.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 11/26/2017 11:31 AM
The BFS does not land on a cradle. It will need a landing pad. Which is not part of the EIS and the construction layout yet but can probably be added without major hassle but would need an updated EIS. Or they land downrange on a barge.

What are you basing this on?

Yes, it is depicted with legs, and can land with them, but if BFR can, why would BFS not usually?
It does various nice things:
Being able to rapidly safe vehicle by removing propellant dregs.
Easy access to cargo door in a consistent spot.
Rapid simple fuelling for hops, required for testing.

Legs are great for emergencies in that you can land on any hardish surface, and probably not die.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 11/26/2017 11:51 AM
Yeah, sounds like it fits with the design of BFR/BFS. I don't think we will see a TEL for either BFR or BFS. Only the launch mount and the crane are required, plus a crew access tower if the launch pad supports crew. All the piping and umbilicals will come through the launch mount. BFS is fueled through BFR, no TEL required. This setup is vastly simpler and cheaper than the F9 launch pad.

I am unsure if this has been raised elsewhere.
But.
What is a launch mount?

BFR is around 5000 tons, and 8 meters in diameter, and a hundred meters or whatever in height.

It needs to cope with around 500 tons of thrust from a returning vehicle (more might be nice).
It needs to be able to load/offload fuel.
It needs to manage acoustic reflections into the stage.
It needs to be rapidly reusable with minimal or zero refurbishing.

This is starting to look quite close to the needs of BFR-ASDS-Passenger.

I wonder if there hasn't been rather more work than one might expect at this time gone into the launch mount, to reduce costs of making hundreds of them, both on land and sea with nearly or exactly the same design.


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/26/2017 12:58 PM
Won't they be able to fly the test BFS out of Texas without noise issues?  I'm assuming 3 raptors are about as noisy as 9 Merlin's.
The BFS does not land on a cradle. It will need a landing pad. Which is not part of the EIS and the construction layout yet but can probably be added without major hassle but would need an updated EIS.

Yes, they would need to update the EIS to launch BFS test flights.  The current EIS doesn't allow test flights for anything larger than Falcon 9.

I'm guessing the FAA would amend the EIS to allow BFS test flights.  I don't think that's a big deal.

But note that the process to amend the EIS requires a public comment period.  Again, I don't think that's a big hurdle, since the vast majority of Cameron County residents seem to support SpaceX.

My point is that, since the EIS amendments require a public comment period, we would know that this is happening.

Since we haven't heard anything from the Federal government about EIS amendments, we must assume either:
1) SpaceX has not asked to amend the EIS for this, or
2) SpaceX only very recently asked to amend the EIS, so the FAA is in the early stages of evaluating the request.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 11/26/2017 01:10 PM
Given the large amount of change between IAC 2016 and 2017, with big changes to both the engine specs and the vehicle specs, it is wise for SpaceX to wait until they're further along in the actual design phase before requesting a new EIS for the BFS.  Maybe this time next year if not later.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/26/2017 01:20 PM
This is starting to look quite close to the needs of BFR-ASDS-Passenger.

If they use an offshore BFR pad (which is still TBD), I'm assuming it would be permanently connected to the ocean floor, with cables and flexible pipes running underwater back to Boca Chica Beach.

As mentioned before, the ocean is only 22 meters (72 feet) deep 5 miles offshore.

A floating launch platform for BFR would be much larger and more complicated than what Elon showed in Sept.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/26/2017 01:41 PM
Given the large amount of change between IAC 2016 and 2017, with big changes to both the engine specs and the vehicle specs, it is wise for SpaceX to wait until they're further along in the actual design phase before requesting a new EIS for the BFS.  Maybe this time next year if not later.

This makes a lot of sense, but it doesn't seem to agree with what Elon said back in September, specifically:

"So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built. We will start construction of the first ship around the second quarter of next year, so in about six to nine months we should start building the first ship."
http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-34

In other words, they plan to start building the first BFS sometime between April and June of next year.  To me, that sounds like SpaceX is already past most of the design phase.

Also, I need to ask: For speculation about the first BFS test flights from Boca Chica, where is this coming from?

To me, Florida seems like a much easier location for BFS test flights.  They already have a landing pad there to launch and land BFS, and they wouldn't need to amend an EIS to do it.  NASA has been very supportive of SpaceX test flights.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 11/26/2017 04:02 PM
I take any schedule even ones only months away as being Elon Time, q.v. just THIS year's schedules for FH launch.
The sales & marketing portion of his brain has THE direct neural path to his tongue.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 11/26/2017 04:45 PM
I take any schedule even ones only months away as being Elon Time, q.v. just THIS year's schedules for FH launch.
The sales & marketing portion of his brain has THE direct neural path to his tongue.

Right.  For example, they were originally hoping to launch from Boca Chica by 2016.

This is an important point: With SpaceX, everything seems to slip somewhat equally. 

So yes, BFR will probably slip, but no more than anything else, especially once the whole company is focused on BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ChrisC on 11/26/2017 10:55 PM
Pretty good recent drone video in this article.
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/trending-now/progress-slow-at-spacexs-planned-spaceport/652351184#

Agreed, that video also serves as a really good intro to the context of the area.  Warning: the caption commentary is rather pessimistic, and look forward to chuckling over "internal issues".

I believe this is the original report / article, and the video will probably show up in the Statesman's Youtube feed eventually:
http://www.512tech.com/technology/progress-slow-spacex-planned-south-texas-spaceport/1R1yN1aM7FsO2XGBr4uOJI/
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 11/27/2017 03:20 AM
 
Pretty good recent drone video in this article.
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/trending-now/progress-slow-at-spacexs-planned-spaceport/652351184#

Agreed, that video also serves as a really good intro to the context of the area.  Warning: the caption commentary is rather pessimistic, and look forward to chuckling over "internal issues".

I believe this is the original report / article, and the video will probably show up in the Statesman's Youtube feed eventually:
http://www.512tech.com/technology/progress-slow-spacex-planned-south-texas-spaceport/1R1yN1aM7FsO2XGBr4uOJI/
I tried to post the video link, but it was one of those ungodly long ones that screws up the whole page.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/01/2017 12:10 PM
Another nice picture of the 2 antenna dishes, this time from Twitter:
https://twitter.com/hashtag/bocachica?lang=en
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/01/2017 01:26 PM
Would have been a great picture for Halloween
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/01/2017 04:00 PM
 The Cranehaus is getting some skin. Work proceeds on both sides of the dish lot. Much conduit and some lumber and brick are being unloaded. The site is infested with cherry pickers. Maybe some dish work is near. The large amount of large electrical conduit could mean a solar field.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/01/2017 04:29 PM
The Cranehaus is getting some skin. Work proceeds on both sides of the dish lot. Much conduit and some lumber and brick are being unloaded. The site is infested with cherry pickers. Maybe some dish work is near. The large amount of large electrical conduit could mean a solar field.
Nice pics Nomadd! And like "Cranehaus"...!

Looks like MBA Construction is involved (based on the safety vest of one of the guys in the pictures). Among other stuff, they do construction in renewables...

http://www.mbaconstruction.net/energy-renewables
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/01/2017 04:35 PM
The large amount of large electrical conduit could mean a solar field.

If the area they're clearing ends up being a parking lot, then I suspect they'll cover the parking places with solar panels, similar to the picture below.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/01/2017 04:37 PM
Nice pics Nomadd!
Hear hear!

Particularly the pan shot.  Worth repeating here.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/01/2017 05:39 PM
The large amount of large electrical conduit could mean a solar field.

If the area they're clearing ends up being a parking lot, then I suspect they'll cover the parking places with solar panels, similar to the picture below.

Omg that looks epic that would be a
A very special place a parking lot solar panel roof.  Wow.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: billh on 12/01/2017 05:49 PM
I love the pan shot! Nomadd, are they building anything yet that will block your view of the pad?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 12/01/2017 06:32 PM
The Cranehaus is getting some skin. Work proceeds on both sides of the dish lot. Much conduit and some lumber and brick are being unloaded. The site is infested with cherry pickers. Maybe some dish work is near. The large amount of large electrical conduit could mean a solar field.

Looks like work is up-shifting now that LC-40 is done.
You've a great seat for the show.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Mike_1179 on 12/01/2017 07:01 PM

The large amount of large electrical conduit could mean a solar field.


Is solar popular in that part of Texas?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/01/2017 07:12 PM
Looks like work is up-shifting now that LC-40 is done.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

The antenna dishes are not being installed to support launches from Boca Chica.  They're being installed to track Crew Dragon in orbit from a location other than Florida. That's the near-term driver.

And if Solar Panels are being installed to support the antenna dishes, then again, Crew Dragon is the driver.

And the crane shed is certainly capable of storage, which may mean the crane won't be used for a while.

Don't get me wrong: I'd like nothing more than to see Falcon 9 launching from Boca Chica a year from now.

But logically, none of current activity rules out the possibility that Boca Chica may be for BFR only, in which case it will take a few more years. And since I've been posting on this thread for almost 6 years, a few more years won't kill me.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/01/2017 07:21 PM
Is solar popular in that part of Texas?

In Texas, wind is more popular than solar.

But remember that Elon also owns Tesla, which merged with Solar City, so Tesla is now one of the nation's largest solar installers.

Looking at the southern tip of Texas in the map below, solar irradiation is about average.  Not bad, but not great. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/01/2017 07:33 PM
I love the pan shot! Nomadd, are they building anything yet that will block your view of the pad?
There's a fence going around the lot between me and the pad. I'll have to walk a couple hundred feet to get a clear view. Oh the humanity.
 The pan is from the leaning tower of Kawalski next door. I have to go into that yard to prune the trees on the property line, so I figure the photo op is fair exchange for the yard work.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/01/2017 11:24 PM
The Cranehaus is getting some skin. Work proceeds on both sides of the dish lot. Much conduit and some lumber and brick are being unloaded. The site is infested with cherry pickers. Maybe some dish work is near. The large amount of large electrical conduit could mean a solar field.
Nice pics Nomadd! And like "Cranehaus"...!

Looks like MBA Construction is involved (based on the safety vest of one of the guys in the pictures). Among other stuff, they do construction in renewables...

http://www.mbaconstruction.net/energy-renewables

 it is the MBA Contruction
Here you go. Solar,wind power, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bocachicagal on 12/02/2017 03:05 PM
Pic of the building permit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 12/02/2017 04:58 PM
"subdivision: solar system" ?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/02/2017 05:34 PM
"subdivision: solar system" ?
I use to have a great view of the "other" solar system before they put up the lights. The new one won't quite be the same.
 But, I guess using a solar system to send ships to the Solar system does have a certain poetry.
 If they used the power to make their own fuel, since they need to develop that technology anyhow, they could be carbon neutral. Even better, since they'd be sending carbon they got from the atmosphere into space.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/03/2017 05:33 PM
 Starting to look like a building.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: biosehnsucht on 12/04/2017 06:33 AM
Is solar popular in that part of Texas?

In Texas, wind is more popular than solar.

But remember that Elon also owns Tesla, which merged with Solar City, so Tesla is now one of the nation's largest solar installers.

Looking at the southern tip of Texas in the map below, solar irradiation is about average.  Not bad, but not great.

To be fair, that has more to do with plentiful wind in the panhandle being captured by utility scale installations than anything with personal / business preferences. When it comes to small scale (not utility scale) installations, solar is far more popular than wind for generating electricity in Texas, just as it is nearly everywhere, simply due to the fact that wind generators are not nearly as cost effective when scaled down to fit in your back yard or on your roof, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/04/2017 07:23 PM
It won’t be long before we see some SpaceX people at Boca Chica and a logo on a building. 2018 is the year for Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/06/2017 03:33 PM
 Many aluminum I-beams are showing up in the field east of the dish lot along with lots of electrical conduit in trenches. A guy with a clipboard who was watching everybody else do the work admitted it was a solar farm going in.
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rockets4life97 on 12/06/2017 03:43 PM
I expect we'll see some Tesla powerpacks at the site in the near future. Elon wouldn't do solar without batteries!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/06/2017 04:15 PM
So how much power generation from the Solar farm can we estimated?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/06/2017 04:50 PM
So how much power generation from the Solar farm can we estimated?
The whole lot isn't much more than an acre, so 250kw or so. I'm not sure if the west lot will also be solar.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/06/2017 10:16 PM
So how much power generation from the Solar farm can we estimated?
The whole lot isn't much more than an acre, so 250kw or so. I'm not sure if the west lot will also be solar.

The permit also said Structural steel racking, I’m pretty sure it’s for the solar array parts or for something else the rack is probably for outside use. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/08/2017 02:48 PM
 You're not suppose to have this white stuff around here.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 12/08/2017 02:50 PM
That must be one big storm.  I was on the phone with someone in El Paso this morning and he was talking about a two hour delay because of ice.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 12/08/2017 03:13 PM
That must be one big storm.  I was on the phone with someone in El Paso this morning and he was talking about a two hour delay because of ice.

Check a weather map today - that storm system stretches from central Mexico up through the mid-Atlantic states. Pretty impressive for a December storm. The jet stream behind it, steering the storm, is similarly impressive. Saw a report this morning from the Nashville office of the NWS - their 6:00 am weather balloon measured the jet stream at 180 mph at 30,000 feet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/08/2017 11:12 PM
 Got my extension cord all ready for when they get this thing on line.
 A photo of the UTRGV building from a lesser seen angle.
 SpaceX has a bunch of stuff for something in their lot, but it turns out you have to charge these camera batteries now and then, so no closeups tonight.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 12/08/2017 11:17 PM
SpaceX has a bunch of stuff for something in their lot, but it turns out you have to charge these camera batteries now and then, so no closeups tonight.

Cameras don't charge off the awesomeness of the photos they take? That's terrible :'(
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Cowboy Dan on 12/09/2017 12:20 AM
STARGATE is gonna be an unexpected head-turner to alotta folks, IMHO. Under the auspices of Dr. Fredrick Jenet (3rd from left, below) and University of Texas' CARA Program, they're already developing relationships with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cornell University, US Department of Defense, etc, etc., etc.

An expected early emphasis will be the further development/implementation of the Low Frequency All Sky Monitor (LoFASM) in collaboration with the US Naval Research Laboratory, the next generation tech in spacecraft and satellite communications.   

http://www.utrgv.edu/cos/programs/cara/index.htm

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/10/2017 05:45 AM
Got my extension cord all ready for when they get this thing on line.
 A photo of the UTRGV building from a lesser seen angle.
 SpaceX has a bunch of stuff for something in their lot, but it turns out you have to charge these camera batteries now and then, so no closeups tonight.

Got my eyes ready for when they turn on those lights finally at the portable they got them utility poles up. Now.
  I wonder if they will work in the dark. If so your gonna be a busy man.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/10/2017 06:47 PM
Salinas: Lack of power has cost RGV steel-related projects
http://riograndeguardian.com/salinas-lack-of-electrical-power-is-hampering-rgvs-economic-development/

Quote
The Rio Grande Valley has lost out on major steel-related projects over the years because it does not have enough electrical power, Gilberto Salinas told the Texas House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness.

Salinas, representing the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, testified mostly about SpaceX, STARGATE, the importance of having a trained workforce, and offering incentive packages to lure companies to Texas. However, he was asked to speak about the Valley’s electricity capacity by state Rep. René Oliveira...

“One is our population is growing. We’re one of the fastest-growing regions, not just in the state of Texas, but in the U.S. So, there is a lack of capacity, and our population is expected to double here in the next couple of decades, so, I mean, we’re already behind,” Salinas said.

“The second one is, you know, look at what a major catastrophic event did to Houston. I mean, this is the fourth, soon to be the third, largest city in the United States. So, you can imagine something like that down south where we’re at.

“And, then tying that back into industry, I personally, in my 11 almost 12 years of doing economic development, we have lost out. Our region has lost out to seven steel – major steel – related projects due to the lack of power because we just did not have that capacity...

The Port of Brownsville is hoping to land a $1.5 billion, advanced flex steel mill project with Arkansas-based Big River Steel...

“One particular project that I started working on a few years ago was by the name of SpaceX. They are building a very unique – it’s the world’s first commercial orbital rocket launch facility at Boca Chica Beach, which is just on the outskirts of Brownsville, Texas. No doubt this has brought the biggest project we’ve landed in Brownsville in recent history and the first – and I’ll be the first one to tell you that ‘hey, look, this is – this couldn’t have been done without an aggressive incentives toolbox.”

The incentives programs, Brownsville tapped into to help land SpaceX included the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Spaceport Trust Fund. Salinas said the latter was “extremely vital” in landing SpaceX. He also cited the former Emerging Technology Fund, and the Local Job Creation Intent incentive programs.

“The geographic location of our area was a driver for the project, but it was also the driver for our competition, which was Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico. I’m here to note and basically to say that, look, incentives really helped sway the decision and give Brownsville an opportunity to stay in the game.”

Salinas said the impact of SpaceX would be about $100 million in capital investment, and the potential of 500 direct jobs over a 10-year period.


“However, we’re going to be benefiting from this particular project for decades to come, in addition to job creation and capital investment. That includes suppliers, – we already have one supplier that’s officially moved into the area in the aerospace sector – educational opportunities from grammar school all the way up to the university level; internships; and then opportunities for entrepreneurs, and, now, really developing an innovation corridor; and then tourism, retail and commercial activity associated with all these different launches.”

As a result of working on the SpaceX project, Salinas said Brownsville was able to secure funding for the STARGATE facility.

“This is a partnership between our organization, SpaceX as well as the University of Texas – then Brownsville, now Rio Grande Valley. This is a ground tracking station, which currently is under construction, and it’s going to be used by SpaceX to track its vehicles and its capsules once it’s traveling in space. When SpaceX is not using it, then the university is going to be using this for their astrophysics division. So, a great example of a public-private partnership.”

A huge benefit of having SpaceX launch rockets from Boca Chica beach will be in branding, Salinas said.

“One of the most important benefits that this particular project has given our community is instant image brand recognition. Brownsville is now in the same breath as SpaceX. Basically, in the same sentence as Mr. Elon Musk,” Salinas said.

“We’re already seeing the benefits of that. So, there’s really no secret to the recruitment of SpaceX in Brownsville. We’re a city of 200,000 by the border and by the sea. We’re just very diligent in working a particular project – the leadership at the local level as well as the state level – and just being creative with the incentives toolbox that we had at our disposition back then.”

Automotive Sector
Salinas told the House select committee he would like to switch gears and talk about the manufacturing sector, especially the automotive sector.

“Texas has two automotive assembly plants, and we’re really due for a third one. We’ve been working closely with the governor’s economic development team in prior years in coming up with different scenarios in how to really try to get an automotive assembly plant – one, for the state of Texas, but, of course, for us it would be down in Brownsville,” Salinas said.

“We are in the middle of three automotive corridors: the traditional Midwest, which is Detroit, where you have your big three; then you have Mexico’s automotive corridor, and that’s where you have the Querétaro, Silao and Bajío region, and then the emerging Southeast corridor – Tennessee, the Carolinas, Alabama. Our location is very suitable to providing access to all these key markets in North America, and, really, tapping into our extensive supplier base,” Salinas said...

Amazon
Salinas noted that many of those who testified before him had touched on Amazon’s plans to build a new corporate headquarters.

“Jeff Bezos – believe it or not – he’s not going to be making the decision as to where this company is going. It’s going to be his HR department that will be deciding where, which means economic development is changing. Now these companies – these forward-thinking companies – are looking at places with people. These companies are looking at places that have these amenities and this environment to retain a highly dynamic workforce,” Salinas said...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 12/10/2017 07:09 PM
Gosh, if they only knew someone with a solar power company...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 12/10/2017 08:07 PM
Salinas: Lack of power has cost RGV steel-related projects

Steel plants are very, very energy hungry, and often require 24*7 power for much of their load, as they can't shut down easily without major losses.
https://goentergy.com/big-river-steel-mega-project-selects-arkansas-for-groundbreaking-mill/ says 450MW, 24*7.

This would need something of the order of a hundred times the scale of the Australian battery project, some 10GWh, minimum, at perhaps $5B (at the same price per kWh as the australian one), and a 3.6GW solar plant.
The solar power plant would be around 35 times the largest solar plant in construction in Texas, and rather more than that per area.

Perhaps another $3B or so, though I just noticed that the Alamo 6 plant sold for $3/W or so.

In any event, closing on ten billion investment to secure perhaps one and a half.

I persisted in this calculation, as it raises as an aside a throw-away (?) comment by Musk on solar powered rockets.

If we assume (because I cannot find proper sources in 3 min) that you can make methane from CO2 and water at 50% efficiency, 5500 tons of propellant, or a thousand tons of methane for a full BFR launch embodies at 4.4*10^7J/Kg, 4.4*10^13J, one launch every two days or so.
So, for a P2P launch pad, you need of the order of a 40GW solar plant to do five launches a day, a patch around 15km in diameter, which is quite large, even for texas.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/10/2017 10:30 PM
This would need something of the order of a hundred times the scale of the Australian battery project, some 10GWh, minimum, at perhaps $5B (at the same price per kWh as the australian one), and a 3.6GW solar plant.
The solar power plant would be around 35 times the largest solar plant in construction in Texas, and rather more than that per area.

Perhaps another $3B or so, though I just noticed that the Alamo 6 plant sold for $3/W or so.

In any event, closing on ten billion investment to secure perhaps one and a half.

Right.  For large scale power plants, the combination of solar panels and batteries isn't quite there yet.

2 other options:

Solar Power Tower
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_tower
These heat molten salt to soaring temperatures, then store it for later to make steam.  No need for batteries.

Breeder Reactor
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor
These use our current nuclear waste as fuel.  They also use Thorium and U-238, which can power the Earth for centuries.  By the time that runs out, they'll have sustainable fusion reactors. Note that Elon Musk came out as pro-nuclear at Sorbonne.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 12/10/2017 10:41 PM

Right.  For large scale power plants, the combination of solar panels and batteries isn't quite there yet.

2 other options:

Solar Power Tower
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_tower
These heat molten salt to soaring temperatures, then store it for later to make steam.  No need for batteries.

This shares the problem with the ~13km diameter solar field needed. Breeder reactors seem rather less plausible for earthly near-term use for this.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: llanitedave on 12/10/2017 10:44 PM
This would need something of the order of a hundred times the scale of the Australian battery project, some 10GWh, minimum, at perhaps $5B (at the same price per kWh as the australian one), and a 3.6GW solar plant.
The solar power plant would be around 35 times the largest solar plant in construction in Texas, and rather more than that per area.

Perhaps another $3B or so, though I just noticed that the Alamo 6 plant sold for $3/W or so.

In any event, closing on ten billion investment to secure perhaps one and a half.

Right.  For large scale power plants, the combination of solar panels and batteries isn't quite there yet.

2 other options:

Solar Power Tower
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_tower (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_tower)
These heat molten salt to soaring temperatures, then store it for later to make steam.  No need for batteries.

Breeder Reactor
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor)
These use our current nuclear waste as fuel.  They also use Thorium and U-238, which can power the Earth for centuries.  By the time that runs out, they'll have sustainable fusion reactors. Note that Elon Musk came out as pro-nuclear at Sorbonne.

There was a proposal to construct a solar thermal plant just a few miles from where I live.  They got as far as completing the EIS.  Then they lost funding when it turned out they couldn't compete with photovoltaic.  Not sure it'll have any better luck in South Texas.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bocachicagal on 12/10/2017 11:17 PM
Pic that I  took yesterday.  :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/11/2017 02:17 AM
If we assume (because I cannot find proper sources in 3 min) that you can make methane from CO2 and water at 50% efficiency, 5500 tons of propellant, or a thousand tons of methane for a full BFR launch embodies at 4.4*10^7J/Kg, 4.4*10^13J, one launch every two days or so.
So, for a P2P launch pad, you need of the order of a 40GW solar plant to do five launches a day, a patch around 15km in diameter, which is quite large, even for texas.

Right. Elon said they plan to eventually power BFR using methane created from CO2, water, and solar power.

But as I understand it, the process of making methane from CO2 and water is rather slow, unless you have a concentrated source of CO2, which would require fossil fuels.  So maybe they'll have a bunch of smaller methane production plants spread around, and then have the liquid methane trucked in.

In any case, for the near-term, SpaceX will use methane from natural gas.  Note that Texas is installing a huge 48-inch natural gas pipeline for the new LNG plant along the Brownsville shipping channel.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/11/2017 02:07 PM
 It's starting to look a little more orderly out here.
 That's my high tech 4 inch PVC antenna mast just to the right of the driver.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGTQ17A991Q
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/11/2017 02:18 PM
Thanks for the update Nomadd. Begs a few questions...

- They’re setting up the panel frames right on the soil? Is that normal for a permanent solar farm?

- Is where these are being installed in the flood plane?

- And WHAT?! “Canadian Solar”?? I can’t believe that - not Solar City? Unless Canadian Solar is a subsidiary...?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: spacenut on 12/11/2017 02:21 PM
There is more CO2 concentrated in the top 6' of seawater than in the atmosphere.  So, spliting the water out of the seawater, and straining the CO2 out may be easier than from the air.  The Navy is studying this to make jet fuel out of seawater with excess nuclear power off their aircraft carriers.  SpaceX might do this eventually since they are near the ocean.  Right now we have an abundance of natural gas we can use easier. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/11/2017 02:50 PM
Thanks for the update Nomadd. Begs a few questions...

- They’re setting up the panel frames right on the soil? Is that normal for a permanent solar farm?

- Is where these are being installed in the flood plane?

- And WHAT?! “Canadian Solar”?? I can’t believe that - not Solar City? Unless Canadian Solar is a subsidiary...?
The ground is about 6 feet above flood there. It was under 3 feet of water in 67.
 SolarCity is still a ways from making all the panels they install. Canadian Solar is one of their major suppliers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/11/2017 02:51 PM
- And WHAT?! “Canadian Solar”?? I can’t believe that - not Solar City? Unless Canadian Solar is a subsidiary...?

Solar City is basically just an installer.  They also handle financing, permits, monitoring, basically everything to make it easy for homeowners and businesses to install rooftop solar.

Solar City doesn't manufacture the panels, inverters, etc.  These are usually made in China (https://www.watchdog.org/california/solarcity-and-others-backed-chinese-solar-panel-makers-flooding-u/article_66f24f5c-4384-5e09-b78a-e1838f3bcb9b.html).

Solar City did buy a solar panel manufacturer in upstate New York, but I heard this is more of a research project for very high efficiency panels, with prices currently much more than the mainstream panels used in most solar systems.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 12/11/2017 03:09 PM
The factory in Buffalo is going to produce the solar roofs for Tesla (who now own solar city), google 'Gigafactory 2' for more.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/11/2017 04:29 PM
The factory in Buffalo is going to produce the solar roofs for Tesla (who now own solar city), google 'Gigafactory 2' for more.

Google also shows a lot of negative articles about that site.  Seems like way more than the battery factory.

In any case, Nomadd has shown us that the solar panels for Boca Chica are being provided by Canadian Solar, which includes manufacturing sites in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 12/11/2017 04:52 PM
Just to put some $$$$ on the above pics...
Each box/pallet of PV panels in the above truck has 26 pcs at about $250+ each inside...
Call it $6500+ each... and looks like the trailer is kinda full of em..  :o
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: DOCinCT on 12/11/2017 05:23 PM
If we assume (because I cannot find proper sources in 3 min) that you can make methane from CO2 and water at 50% efficiency, 5500 tons of propellant, or a thousand tons of methane for a full BFR launch embodies at 4.4*10^7J/Kg, 4.4*10^13J, one launch every two days or so.
So, for a P2P launch pad, you need of the order of a 40GW solar plant to do five launches a day, a patch around 15km in diameter, which is quite large, even for texas.

More like 75% CO2 conversion rate (see Compact and Lightweight Sabatier Reactor for Carbon
Dioxide Reduction Christian Junaedi, Kyle Hawley, Dennis Walsh, Subir Roychoudhury, Morgan B. Abney and Jay L. Perry)
Limitation is efficiency of splitting H2O into H2, O2 as the former is needed for the catalyst based Sabatier reaction.
EDIT - A full sized version of a methane/O2 ISRU plant will have to happen before crew vehicles show up on Mars.  Boca Chica would be a good test site for one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 12/11/2017 06:45 PM
Just to put some $$$$ on the above pics...
Each box/pallet of PV panels in the above truck has 26 pcs at about $250+ each inside...
Call it $6500+ each... and looks like the trailer is kinda full of em..  :o

The number (26*28 (guess as to how many boxes)*250W) = 180kW, or 700kWh/day or so (av), 29kW, is enough to fuel BFS in a couple of decades or so.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/11/2017 07:08 PM
There were two trailers this morning.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 12/11/2017 10:44 PM
Just to put some $$$$ on the above pics...
Each box/pallet of PV panels in the above truck has 26 pcs at about $250+ each inside...
Call it $6500+ each... and looks like the trailer is kinda full of em..  :o

The number (26*28 (guess as to how many boxes)*250W) = 180kW, or 700kWh/day or so (av), 29kW, is enough to fuel BFS in a couple of decades or so.

Reality is less kwh then that per day... Maybe TWO truckloads of panels might get you there...

But still... back figure the value of the power and PV still looks silly on paper to me...  payback wise
Every time I sit down and do a real life calculation of a 10kw nameplate fixed array here in Central Illinois, USA
Decent 1 axis (adjust by hand every 90 days) tilt racking (that can handle our 100mph wind gusts)...
Good but kinda cheap grid tied power inverters and the local power grid is my only storage (as such)
Real good but not Cadillac PV panels (I like LG's myself)...
Then look at my utility bill... right at 6 cents a KWh for the raw power here...
(A lot of nuke power around Chicago keeps us in cheap electric rates statewide)
Meaning every KWh I can make only saves me 6 cents reality...
THEN pencil out the payback period just to break even... (last time I did this spring, 8 years)
Then look at the fact the PV panels are a wear item... (they slowly degrade on output)
Same with the Inverters (damn lucky if they make it 10+ years, untouched)
In short...
You get your money back in about 10 years
You get enough ahead in 20 years to replace the whole worn out system
Nope... at 6 cents a KWh... makes NO sense...  :-\

However... at 12 cents KWh... not so bad...  ???
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/11/2017 11:04 PM
 It looks like about 40 of these double stacks, so 80 crates/2,080 330 watt panels, or 686.4kw. They're also doing the lot to the west of the dishes, so 2.5 acres or so, which comes close to the 250kw per acre rule of thumb for the more efficient panels (17%). Anybody who's ever used solar knows those ratings are optimistic to say the least. But at $.72 a watt, not a bad deal.
The Tesla guy in charge asked me if they were starting work too early in the morning. They're trying to catch up from last week's apocalyptic winter storm of well over 1/4 inch of snow.

 All being supervised by a local resident.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: groundbound on 12/11/2017 11:59 PM
They're trying to catch up from last week's apocalyptic winter storm of well over 1/4 inch of snow.


We were hoping that you would also include pictures of the 5 meter snow drifts.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: launchwatcher on 12/12/2017 01:28 AM
But still... back figure the value of the power and PV still looks silly on paper to me...  payback wise
How much power can the current electric grid deliver to Boca Chica?    Some combination of backup generator + batteries + solar might be the expedient solution while they wait for bigger wires to be run...

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RonM on 12/12/2017 02:23 AM
But still... back figure the value of the power and PV still looks silly on paper to me...  payback wise
How much power can the current electric grid deliver to Boca Chica?    Some combination of backup generator + batteries + solar might be the expedient solution while they wait for bigger wires to be run...

And solar power will work a lot better in sunny Boca Chica than Central Illinois.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 12/12/2017 03:41 AM
But still... back figure the value of the power and PV still looks silly on paper to me...  payback wise
How much power can the current electric grid deliver to Boca Chica?    Some combination of backup generator + batteries + solar might be the expedient solution while they wait for bigger wires to be run...

And solar power will work a lot better in sunny Boca Chica than Central Illinois.
It does slightly better... As I found this evening... not as much as you think... however...
My fictional 10K watt system improves by about 500 KWh a year yield... moving it there.

I plugged Nomadd"s stated 686.4kw nameplate system installed value and zip 78521 into PVwatts...  ???
http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/ (http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/)
Using 7 cents a KWh as value... Not the gold mine it seems is it...  :(
(fixed racking due south at 26* tilt... premium panels... open racking... 7 cents)

On edit...
80 crates is about a half million dollars in PV panels alone...  :o
Like I said... breaks even in about 10 years...  :P
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/12/2017 04:28 AM
 20 miles of decent 3 phase (from the big MVEC sub station) would be in the range of a million dollars to run. Maybe more for the class that SpaceX might need when things get serious. I don't know what electrical genius worked on the EIS, but I assume 3,000 kilowatts per hour means 3,000 kilowatts. That might also go up if they start working the methane monster here. But, it would mean at least 6 or 7 megawatts of solar.
 Battery costs would have to be figured at retail in the near future, since every battery you use is one you don't sell as long as you're producing as many as you can, and Tesla isn't really in shape to subsidize SpaceX at the moment.
 I've never seen the inside of the service box to see what size wires are coming to town. Not enough to run a spaceport, I'm sure.

 John Alan's chart doesn't make solar look too bad. It would save them, very roughly, 10% of install cost every year. I'm not sure how fast they'd depreciate it, but if you can get 5% money, it's not a terrible investment.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RonM on 12/12/2017 04:33 AM
And solar power will work a lot better in sunny Boca Chica than Central Illinois.
It does slightly better... As I found this evening... not as much as you think... however...
My fictional 10K watt system improves by about 500 KWh a year yield... moving it there.

I plugged Nomadd"s stated 686.4kw nameplate system installed value and zip 78521 into PVwatts...  ???
http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/ (http://pvwatts.nrel.gov/)
Using 7 cents a KWh as value... Not the gold mine it seems is it...  :(
(fixed racking due south at 26* tilt... premium panels... open racking... 7 cents)

On edit...
80 crates is about a half million dollars in PV panels alone...  :o
Like I said... breaks even in about 10 years...  :P

The suggested rate on PVWatts for the Boca Chica area is 10 cents, not the 7 cents you used. Fudging the numbers is not a good way to prove your point. The breakeven should be in 7 years.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 12/12/2017 04:41 AM
Fair enough... 10 cents and about 7 years
I used the 7 cents per Kwh that EM quoted he would charge at his solar powered semi truck charging stations...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Oersted on 12/12/2017 09:50 AM
Pic that I  took yesterday.  :D

An ICE car. How quaint...     (Thanks for posting!)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/12/2017 01:19 PM
They're also doing the lot to the west of the dishes, so 2.5 acres or so...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/12/2017 01:37 PM
The Tesla guy in charge asked me if they were starting work too early in the morning. They're trying to catch up from last week's apocalyptic winter storm of well over 1/4 inch of snow.

 All being supervised by a local resident.

Did they say what the big pipes by the control center area were for?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/12/2017 02:41 PM


Did they say what the big pipes by the control center area were for?
I haven't talked to any SpaceX guys lately. Just Tesla/SolarCity. The three things on the right are tanks. My guess was that the big steel pipe was for sinking the 3 foot piles.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/12/2017 05:16 PM
Did they say what the big pipes by the control center area were for?
I haven't talked to any SpaceX guys lately. Just Tesla/SolarCity. The three things on the right are tanks. My guess was that the big steel pipe was for sinking the 3 foot piles.

Is it my imagination, or do some of these pipe sections curve?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kansan52 on 12/12/2017 05:23 PM
Could we be seeing three things, forms for pilings, pipes for culverts, and pipes and tanks for sewage?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/12/2017 05:37 PM
Could we be seeing three things, forms for pilings, pipes for culverts, and pipes and tanks for sewage?
Those don't look like sewage tanks. More like supply tanks.
 I'm not sure why the pieces would be showing up now, but the pad deluge system would have to collect the used water since they can't just dump it into the wetlands. I can't think of anything else that would need that size pipe. Not that I know anything that goes into building a spaceport.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: DanielW on 12/12/2017 06:21 PM
Not that I know anything that goes into building a spaceport.

In that case I hope you are taking detailed notes for your book.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: midnightrider3000 on 12/12/2017 06:39 PM
@Nomadd

Thanks for all the pics.

I just have to ask. What's up with the curved wall and barbwire fence?

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/12/2017 07:51 PM
@Nomadd

Thanks for all the pics.

I just have to ask. What's up with the curved wall and barbwire fence?


Just an artifact of the previous owner. The fence was just to keep the big dogs from eating the little dog.
 It's SpaceX owned now, but the only thing they use it for is to plug in an extension cord to the crane warehouse job.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: midnightrider3000 on 12/12/2017 08:46 PM
@Nomadd


Just an artifact of the previous owner. The fence was just to keep the big dogs from eating the little dog.


Barbwire? Guess the saying is true "Everything is bigger in Texas" including the big dogs.

Thought there was a previous war between you guys. Square holes looked like "Arrowslits" for shooting at your property. LOL
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/12/2017 10:28 PM
 Concrete day for what I assume is the pad where the batteries, inverter and all that cool electrical stuff will go.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 12/13/2017 02:05 PM
Ok, I'm trying to get this straight: Is this new solar & battery array for the future pad, Stargate, the control center, or some other building?

Also, what is the unfinished warehouse-like building on the left hand side of the most recent panorama for?

Thanks a ton!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/13/2017 02:18 PM
Ok, I'm trying to get this straight: Is this new solar & battery array for the future pad, Stargate, the control center, or some other building?

Previous info from SpaceX suggests the solar array will be for the launch site area as a whole, including the launch pad area and control center area.

As far as I know, batteries haven't been confirmed.  They may be using a combination of grid power and solar, perhaps with backup generators. Note that the vast majority of rooftop solar installations in the U.S. don't include batteries.

To be clear, they may add some Tesla PowerPacks to stabilize things, but as far as I know, this is not confirmed.

Also, what is the unfinished warehouse-like building on the left hand side of the most recent panorama for?
This structure houses the large crane that was brought in a few months ago.

Edit: Later pictures show this building more completed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/13/2017 04:16 PM
 10 minute old picture.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 12/13/2017 04:19 PM
I assume there are no published power numbers for any of the existing pads?
I guess the largest loads might be propellant chilling, and deluge pumps, if they do not use gravity towers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/13/2017 05:20 PM
I assume there are no published power numbers for any of the existing pads?
I guess the largest loads might be propellant chilling, and deluge pumps, if they do not use gravity towers.
According to Jim, the vehicle and payload processing buildings tend to work with the doors open and AC going full blast, and are the largest power consumers, but he might not be familiar with propellant chilling requirements.
 This solar farm seems excessive for just a tracking station and warehouse. It could also be for the STARGATE facility. The final plan for solar is about ten times what they're doing now. Maybe more if they start doing BFR instead of Falcon.
 I assume batteries because solar without them wouldn't do much good. You'd still need to bring in 100% of your power needs from public utilities or be willing to run off of generators for days at a time.
 Battery cost estimates are usually nonsense in the media. They love to use the old retail $400-$500 a kwh prices someone put out years back. But if the gigafactory has extra capacity because of the Model 3 delays, they could probably get batteries by moving about $140 per kwh between companies. (However Tesla and SpaceX handle that)
 I don't really know how they figure batteries, but I'd guess at least 5 mwh for this array.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meberbs on 12/13/2017 05:56 PM
But if the gigafactory has extra capacity because of the Model 3 delays, they could probably get batteries by moving about $140 per kwh between companies. (However Tesla and SpaceX handle that)
I remember seeing something about ramping battery production at the gigafactory being a contributing factor to Model 3 delays. Also, capacity is probably not fully interchangeable between batteries with different end uses (and therefore different packaging.)

Musk has claimed on twitter a price of $250/kWh for large installations (not counting shipping, installation, and tax), and with him owning SpaceX and Tesla being a public company, he could probably get in trouble if he had Tesla sell to SpaceX at an "in-house" type of discount.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/13/2017 06:10 PM
But if the gigafactory has extra capacity because of the Model 3 delays, they could probably get batteries by moving about $140 per kwh between companies.

Here's an interesting tidbit.

Today, you can buy 18650 cells for around $90 / kWh on amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017YLD83S?m=A2MQH67N57UZ7V

These are advertised as 5300 mAh, but such claims are wildly exaggerated. A typical 18650 cell is only around 2600 mAh, or 2.6 Ah. At 3.7 volts, that’s 9.62 Wh for each cell, or 96.2 Wh for the ten pack. So $8.47 / 96.2 Wh = 8.8 cents/Wh, or $88 per kWh.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/13/2017 06:21 PM
According to Jim, the vehicle and payload processing buildings tend to work with the doors open and AC going full blast, and are the largest power consumers, but he might not be familiar with propellant chilling requirements.

Yes, I remember this as well.  For the 2 Payload Processing Facility buildings within the Control Center Area, in order to maintain clean room conditions, cool air isn't recycled.  Instead, the bring in outside air, filter it, cool it, and then exhaust that air back outside without recycling it through the HVAC system.

This uses gobs of electricity.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: kenny008 on 12/13/2017 07:12 PM
Hmmm.  This seems backwards to me.  Wouldn't it make more sense to re-use the already-filtered air?  Seems much easier to maintain clean-room conditions by recirculating and cooling already "clean" air, than to take "dirty" outside air and start all over again.  Plus, it would use much less power.

I'm sure there's a good reason, but I don't quite get it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/13/2017 07:26 PM
Hmmm.  This seems backwards to me.  Wouldn't it make more sense to re-use the already-filtered air?  Seems much easier to maintain clean-room conditions by recirculating and cooling already "clean" air, than to take "dirty" outside air and start all over again.  Plus, it would use much less power.

I'm sure there's a good reason, but I don't quite get it.

I think it also has to do with potential leaks of hazardous materials.

Since vapors can't be filtered, I guess they consider filtered air from the outside to be the cleanest.

But this is all second-hand info.  I'm not an expert in this area.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: kenny008 on 12/13/2017 07:28 PM
Got it, thanks.  I also remember Jim mentioning HVAC as the largest electrical load (can't find the post).  Anything that can lower power requirements can only help the situation in a relatively undeveloped piece of launch property.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: hplan on 12/13/2017 07:50 PM
But if the gigafactory has extra capacity because of the Model 3 delays, they could probably get batteries by moving about $140 per kwh between companies.

Here's an interesting tidbit.

Today, you can buy 18650 cells for around $90 / kWh on amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017YLD83S?m=A2MQH67N57UZ7V

These are advertised as 5300 mAh, but such claims are wildly exaggerated. A typical 18650 cell is only around 2600 mAh, or 2.6 Ah. At 3.7 volts, that’s 9.62 Wh for each cell, or 96.2 Wh for the ten pack. So $8.47 / 96.2 Wh = 8.8 cents/Wh, or $88 per kWh.

Such "deals" are usually used cells recovered from defunct laptops or some such. Top quality cells are more expensive at retail.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/14/2017 12:26 AM
But if the gigafactory has extra capacity because of the Model 3 delays, they could probably get batteries by moving about $140 per kwh between companies.

Here's an interesting tidbit.

Today, you can buy 18650 cells for around $90 / kWh on amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017YLD83S?m=A2MQH67N57UZ7V

These are advertised as 5300 mAh, but such claims are wildly exaggerated. A typical 18650 cell is only around 2600 mAh, or 2.6 Ah. At 3.7 volts, that’s 9.62 Wh for each cell, or 96.2 Wh for the ten pack. So $8.47 / 96.2 Wh = 8.8 cents/Wh, or $88 per kWh.

Such "deals" are usually used cells recovered from defunct laptops or some such. Top quality cells are more expensive at retail.

Amazon says they're new.  They sure look new.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/14/2017 12:42 AM
 GTL batteries are a scam. They just put whatever rating on them they feel like. Real capacity is usually around 1600 mah.
 You can't see it real well, but these claim to be 10,000 mah. The 18650Bs that I think Tesla uses are 3400 mah.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: deruch on 12/14/2017 01:32 AM
GTL batteries are a scam. They just put whatever rating on them they feel like. Real capacity is usually around 1600 mah.
 You can't see it real well, but these claim to be 10,000 mah. The 18650Bs that I think Tesla uses are 3400 mah.

Tesla has largely switched to 21700s.  That's the cell type going into the Model 3 packs and likely the future Powerwall and Powerpack products.  Models S and X are still 18650s.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/14/2017 01:36 AM
GTL batteries are a scam. They just put whatever rating on them they feel like...
 You can't see it real well, but these claim to be 10,000 mah.
Totally agree that the claims are exaggerated, which is why I didn't use them.

Real capacity is usually around 1600 mah.
I've never seen any that low, except some of the high drain types used in power tools, which are more expensive.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/14/2017 01:41 AM
GTL batteries are a scam. They just put whatever rating on them they feel like. Real capacity is usually around 1600 mah.
 You can't see it real well, but these claim to be 10,000 mah. The 18650Bs that I think Tesla uses are 3400 mah.

Tesla has largely switched to 21700s.  That's the cell type going into the Model 3 packs and likely the future Powerwall and Powerpack products.  Models S and X are still 18650s.

Is it 2170 or 21700?  I've seen both, even on the same chart.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/14/2017 02:11 AM
Periodic reminder (against my own interest in batteries) not to stray TOO far off topic :)

There. Now I said it. Carry on as before :) Sort of.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 12/14/2017 02:52 AM
Is it 2170 or 21700?  I've seen both, even on the same chart.

[cloak from mods]
2170
[/cloak from mods]
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/14/2017 04:00 AM
Is it 2170 or 21700?  I've seen both, even on the same chart.

[cloak from mods]
2170
[/cloak from mods]
That doesn't work ever since Lar got his tri-phasic reverse polarity random frequency shifting Tachyon off topic scanner from Best Buy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: deruch on 12/14/2017 05:02 AM
Is it 2170 or 21700?  I've seen both, even on the same chart.

[cloak from mods]
2170
They are the same thing.
[/cloak from mods]
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/14/2017 05:25 AM
This is you guys....

But I still can see you.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/14/2017 01:19 PM
Anyway, if the Boca Chica solar array does include Tesla PowerPacks (yet to be confirmed), they will use the new 2170 cell size, not the older 18650 size.  The new 2170 cell is supposed to be a little cheaper to produce, while still allowing adequate liquid cooling.

I only quoted the price for 18650s on Amazon.com to give an idea of how dramatically Li/Ion cell prices are dropping.  I believe they're much lower than many in the press are estimating.  If so, that makes Tesla PowerPacks at Boca Chica more likely.

But the area where they're pouring the concrete doesn't look very large.  If that includes inverters and other stuff to tie to the grid, I'd guess they need more area than that for PowerPacks, especially if they want to use solar power 24/7.  Also, I believe the EIS specifies a generator for backup power.

In any case, it'll be interesting to see how this develops.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 12/15/2017 02:19 AM
Briefly (sorry lar): the XXYY0 cells are XXmm diameter by YYmm long.  The zero is a needless placeholder.  Elon is fighting a one-man battle to drop the surplus 0.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ChrisC on 12/15/2017 04:16 AM
Please stop with the poorly informed battery talk.  Just stop.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/15/2017 04:29 AM
PM me if you think batteries are important enough to carve off as a subtopic (and please suggest where it should go) ... otherwise let's recharge the discussion by talking about more clearly relevant things... Shocking request, I know.[1]

1 - this is NOT license to deploy all your old electrically related puns. I get to, you don't. Sorry not sorry.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/15/2017 05:23 AM
Hundreds watch release of endangered sea turtles (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/hundreds-watch-release-of-endangered-sea-turtles/article_8b392338-e075-11e7-8a98-1b09874ebec5.html)
Quote
Because it got so cold, the temperature in the Laguna Madre dropped below 55 degrees, stunning the sea turtles into shock.

“The majority of the endangered green sea turtles live in the Laguna Madre and wash up on Boca Chica or on the mudflats,” said Kat Lillie, assistant curator at Sea Turtle Inc.

A total of 72 cold-stunned turtles washed up.

Note that the phrase "sea turtle" occurs 95 times 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). The launch site area is environmentally protected wetlands.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: envy887 on 12/15/2017 12:11 PM
Hundreds watch release of endangered sea turtles (http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/hundreds-watch-release-of-endangered-sea-turtles/article_8b392338-e075-11e7-8a98-1b09874ebec5.html)
Quote
Because it got so cold, the temperature in the Laguna Madre dropped below 55 degrees, stunning the sea turtles into shock.

“The majority of the endangered green sea turtles live in the Laguna Madre and wash up on Boca Chica or on the mudflats,” said Kat Lillie, assistant curator at Sea Turtle Inc.

A total of 72 cold-stunned turtles washed up.

Note that the phrase "sea turtle" occurs 95 times 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). The launch site area is environmentally protected wetlands.

So instead of McGregor Rocket Cows, we will get Boca Chica Rocket Turtles?  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rpapo on 12/15/2017 01:45 PM
Credit: https://pslv3r.deviantart.com/art/Rocket-Turtle-92707709

[mod] Feel free to delete, if you wish.  This feels rather 'party thread' like...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/15/2017 03:06 PM
 The I-beam crop is coming along nicely.
 We're getting a lovely green fence, because green indicates serious environmental awareness, or was the only color available.
 You know it's Brownsville when the temperature is 54°F and everybody is wearing ski masks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/15/2017 03:53 PM
LC-40 is back online with a successful launch December 15th for CRS-13.   The pad that delayed Contruction is officially active not long at all before we literally see SpaceX people.  Falcon heavy is the last step then Rhey come back to Boca Chica.  Really good news
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2017 04:28 PM
LC-40 is back online with a successful launch December 15th for CRS-13.   The pad that delayed Contruction is officially active not long at all before we literally see SpaceX people.  Falcon heavy is the last step then Rhey come back to Boca Chica.  Really good news

Not really.  There may never be a F9/FH at Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/15/2017 04:42 PM
LC-40 is back online with a successful launch December 15th for CRS-13.   The pad that delayed Contruction is officially active not long at all before we literally see SpaceX people.  Falcon heavy is the last step then Rhey come back to Boca Chica.  Really good news

Not really.  There may never be a F9/FH at Boca Chica.
He was obviously refering to FH at 39A being the last step before the pad crew is freed up. It might not be accurate depending on crew mods.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2017 04:44 PM
LC-40 is back online with a successful launch December 15th for CRS-13.   The pad that delayed Contruction is officially active not long at all before we literally see SpaceX people.  Falcon heavy is the last step then Rhey come back to Boca Chica.  Really good news

Not really.  There may never be a F9/FH at Boca Chica.
He was obviously refering to FH at 39A being the last step before the pad crew is freed up. It might not be accurate depending on crew mods.

I meant that the pad crew may never come down to build any type of Falcon pad
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rockets4life97 on 12/15/2017 04:50 PM
LC-40 is back online with a successful launch December 15th for CRS-13.   The pad that delayed Contruction is officially active not long at all before we literally see SpaceX people.  Falcon heavy is the last step then Rhey come back to Boca Chica.  Really good news

Not really.  There may never be a F9/FH at Boca Chica.
He was obviously refering to FH at 39A being the last step before the pad crew is freed up. It might not be accurate depending on crew mods.

I meant that the pad crew may never come down to build any type of Falcon pad

SPITexas said come down to Boca Chica. They didn't say come down to build a F9/FH pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: HIP2BSQRE on 12/15/2017 04:50 PM
LC-40 is back online with a successful launch December 15th for CRS-13.   The pad that delayed Contruction is officially active not long at all before we literally see SpaceX people.  Falcon heavy is the last step then Rhey come back to Boca Chica.  Really good news

Not really.  There may never be a F9/FH at Boca Chica.
He was obviously refering to FH at 39A being the last step before the pad crew is freed up. It might not be accurate depending on crew mods.

I meant that the pad crew may never come down to build any type of Falcon pad

Jim,

So what type of pad if any do you see in Texas?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AbuSimbel on 12/15/2017 04:56 PM
It seems like Jim has some insider info about SpaceX plans to delay BC construction and make it a BFR only pad from the start  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2017 05:30 PM
LC-40 is back online with a successful launch December 15th for CRS-13.   The pad that delayed Contruction is officially active not long at all before we literally see SpaceX people.  Falcon heavy is the last step then Rhey come back to Boca Chica.  Really good news

Not really.  There may never be a F9/FH at Boca Chica.
He was obviously refering to FH at 39A being the last step before the pad crew is freed up. It might not be accurate depending on crew mods.

I meant that the pad crew may never come down to build any type of Falcon pad

SPITexas said come down to Boca Chica. They didn't say come down to build a F9/FH pad.

It might be a while for that or maybe never too
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: HIP2BSQRE on 12/15/2017 05:38 PM
LC-40 is back online with a successful launch December 15th for CRS-13.   The pad that delayed Contruction is officially active not long at all before we literally see SpaceX people.  Falcon heavy is the last step then Rhey come back to Boca Chica.  Really good news

Not really.  There may never be a F9/FH at Boca Chica.
He was obviously refering to FH at 39A being the last step before the pad crew is freed up. It might not be accurate depending on crew mods.

I meant that the pad crew may never come down to build any type of Falcon pad

SPITexas said come down to Boca Chica. They didn't say come down to build a F9/FH pad.

It might be a while for that or maybe never too

Jim,

Are you saying that you do not see Spacex rushing to build any type of pad in Texas soon (Within the next 12 -18 months)? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2017 05:50 PM
yes
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/15/2017 06:12 PM
yes
SpaceX didn’t forget about Boca Chica,  the Crewed dragon mods will happen in mid 2018 at 39A I think,
I can agree work on Boca Chica and Crew Dragon can happen.
 SpaceX senior spokesman James gleeson confirms they’ll be working on the site starting early 2018 after the FH rocket launches I mean after that what else are they gonna work on now?  Also BocaChicaGal confirmed that crane will be there awaiting the BFR for launch. The two tacking dishes are also expected to be operational next year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/15/2017 06:13 PM
yes

If they are going to stop, now's a better time than any later time since they have so far invested relatively little compared to the end state.

The CRS-13 webcast presenters repeatedly mentioned "SpaceX has 3 operational pads" without even once mentioning Boca Chica, IIRC...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: stcks on 12/15/2017 06:21 PM
yes

If they are going to stop, now's a better time than any later time since they have so far invested relatively little compared to the end state.

The CRS-13 webcast presenters repeatedly mentioned "SpaceX has 3 operational pads" without even once mentioning Boca Chica, IIRC...

With the dwindling number of future GTO contracts, one does really wonder what Boca Chica solves for SpaceX. Two east coast pads, both capable of quick turn around, are more than enough to satisfy their current manifest. Boca Chica is useless for basically everything except GTO and BEO missions (what was it, 27 degrees or so and thats basically it?).
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 12/15/2017 06:31 PM
ISTM, if BFR/BFS get involved with the Deep Space Gateway and it does lunar landings, these help subsidize Mars and test hardware at a lower risk.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RotoSequence on 12/15/2017 06:32 PM

With the dwindling number of future GTO contracts, one does really wonder what Boca Chica solves for SpaceX. Two east coast pads, both capable of quick turn around, are more than enough to satisfy their current manifest. Boca Chica is useless for basically everything except GTO and BEO missions (what was it, 27 degrees or so and thats basically it?).

They were planning to use it for BFR missions to Mars, last time I checked.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2017 06:39 PM
The two tacking dishes are also expected to be operational next year.

Those are independent of the launch site.

FH rocket launches I mean after that what else are they gonna work on now? 

what says they have to work on anything at that time?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/15/2017 06:44 PM
what says they have to work on anything at that time?

The SpaceX MO appears to be get a crew honed at what it needs to be good at, then keep it busy. We saw this apparent behavior with engines. The engine design team is kept busy moving from project to project. While perhaps a pad construction crew isn't QUITE the same level of rocket science, it would be foolish to build a team, then dissipate it, then have to reassemble and reskill a new team a few years later. So I would expect the pad team to transition over to BC after all the LC-40 anomalies[1] are scrubbed out, even if they don't work at a frenzied pace with lots of subcontractors.

1 - for example, apparently a crescent shaped piece of the TEL came off during launch... they probably don't want that to happen again, so the pad team might be tasked with some minor TEL rework to prevent it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2017 06:54 PM

The SpaceX MO appears to be get a crew honed at what it needs to be good at, then keep it busy. We saw this apparent behavior with engines. The engine design team is kept busy moving from project to project. While perhaps a pad construction crew isn't QUITE the same level of rocket science, it would be foolish to build a team, then dissipate it, then have to reassemble and reskill a new team a few years later. So I would expect the pad team to transition over to BC after all the LC-40 anomalies[1] are scrubbed out, even if they don't work at a frenzied pace with lots of subcontractors.

1 - for example, apparently a crescent shaped piece of the TEL came off during launch... they probably don't want that to happen again, so the pad team might be tasked with some minor TEL rework to prevent it.

Spacex may have a in-house design crew, but I don't think they have a roving pad construction team.  Local contractors do much of the work.

Anyways, there are BFR test facilities at McGregor or elsewhere that will be needed before a BFR pad

Also, a TEL team is a small component of a pad team.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 12/15/2017 07:09 PM

The SpaceX MO appears to be get a crew honed at what it needs to be good at, then keep it busy. We saw this apparent behavior with engines. The engine design team is kept busy moving from project to project. While perhaps a pad construction crew isn't QUITE the same level of rocket science, it would be foolish to build a team, then dissipate it, then have to reassemble and reskill a new team a few years later. So I would expect the pad team to transition over to BC after all the LC-40 anomalies[1] are scrubbed out, even if they don't work at a frenzied pace with lots of subcontractors.

1 - for example, apparently a crescent shaped piece of the TEL came off during launch... they probably don't want that to happen again, so the pad team might be tasked with some minor TEL rework to prevent it.
>
Anyways, there are BFR test facilities at McGregor or elsewhere that will be needed before a BFR pad
>

There are Raptor engine test facilities at McGregor, as in testing them singly, but BFR facilities (several  clustered engines) would likely run afoul of the McGregor noise limits imposed a couple of years ago. I believe these limit tests to something around 2 million lbf. Not to mention the difficulties of transporting 9 meter, and very long, stages by road.

ISTM BFR/BFS tests will need to be done  near or on the pad. This seems to indicate Boca Chica coming online earlier rather than later - or never.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/15/2017 07:15 PM

The SpaceX MO appears to be get a crew honed at what it needs to be good at, then keep it busy. We saw this apparent behavior with engines. The engine design team is kept busy moving from project to project. While perhaps a pad construction crew isn't QUITE the same level of rocket science, it would be foolish to build a team, then dissipate it, then have to reassemble and reskill a new team a few years later. So I would expect the pad team to transition over to BC after all the LC-40 anomalies[1] are scrubbed out, even if they don't work at a frenzied pace with lots of subcontractors.

1 - for example, apparently a crescent shaped piece of the TEL came off during launch... they probably don't want that to happen again, so the pad team might be tasked with some minor TEL rework to prevent it.

Spacex may have a in-house design crew, but I don't think they have a roving pad construction team.  Local contractors do much of the work.

Anyways, there are BFR test facilities at McGregor or elsewhere that will be needed before a BFR pad

Also, a TEL team is a small component of a pad team.
You're not disagreeing with me, even if you think you are :).  Yes, a core crew augmented with trades as needed is what I meant. Yes there may be test facility work. Yes, TEL isn't everything for a pad, but it was an example of an anomaly just seen. There likely are other things (not related to the TEL) they'll want to correct at SLC-40 before being "done" (SpaceX is never done, they always iterate but...)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: BadgerLegs on 12/15/2017 07:22 PM
yes
The CRS-13 webcast presenters repeatedly mentioned "SpaceX has 3 operational pads" without even once mentioning Boca Chica, IIRC...
The presenter also failed to mention that they were going to land back at CCAFS until after the rocket was airborne.  Also failed to mention that there are now TWO landing pads at CCAFS (clearly visible in the video).  Omission is not admission.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rcoppola on 12/15/2017 07:39 PM
I just don't think there is any rush to bring BC on-line at this point. BFR build/test/launch is better situated in FL imo. Except for future (SLS-tbd), NG and Vulcan test and launch campaigns, I don't see that much range pressure. And if hypothetically, BFR calls FL home and they plan to have a pad ready for it in 3 years time? TX feels like it has devolved into a backup pad. Not a primary growth driver. At least not right now, perhaps ever.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: jpo234 on 12/15/2017 09:16 PM
There are always the Starlink flights. Can the range handle the current flight rate plus Starlink? The 45th said a few months ago, that they will be able to support 48 launches per year at some point in the future. That would not be enough for SpaceX alone, not to mention the other tenants of the eastern range.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/15/2017 10:03 PM
The two tacking dishes are also expected to be operational next year.

The 2 tracking dishes are not being installed to track launches from Boca Chica.  These will track Crew Dragon in orbit.  As part of NASA's commercial crew contract, they require ground tracking at locations other than Florida. So SpaceX chose Boca Chica to satisfy this NASA requirement.

Yes, SpaceX said they'll also eventually use the dishes for launches from Boca Chica, but it's very clear the near-term driver is commercial crew launches from Florida.

The solar array currently being installed will power the 2 dishes.

The fact that they're building a structure to house the crane may indicate that they intend to store it there for a while.

The only activity that may indicate they still plan to build an F9/FH pad at Boca Chica is the pipes and tanks at the control center area, but we don't know what these are for yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/15/2017 10:08 PM
I meant that the pad crew may never come down to build any type of Falcon pad

SPITexas said come down to Boca Chica. They didn't say come down to build a F9/FH pad.

It might be a while for that or maybe never too

By the way, to summarize some of the issues discussed over the last couple of months:

1) Will SpaceX scrap their plans for a Texas launch site?
    My opionion: No. I think SpaceX really wants a private launch site.

2) Will SpaceX launch BFR from Boca Chica?
    My opinion: Yes. Gwynne said Boca Chica is perfect for BFR.

3) Will SpaceX launch F9/FH from Boca Chica?
    My opinion: Unsure. Elon said they plan to replace F9/FH with BFR, but it all comes down to timing.
    We'll see what happens after the first Falcon Heavy test launch.

4) Will SpaceX launch BFR from Boca Chica Beach?
    My opinion: Unsure. If they do use an offshore pad, I'm assuming there would still be a lot of onshore
    support facilities (control center, antenna dishes, water tower,  propellant tanks, etc.). So the launch
    site as a whole would still be mostly at Boca Chica, but there would be a relatively small fixed platform
    a few miles offshore, with underwater cables and pipes connecting it with Boca Chica Beach. The hangar
    and payload processing facilities would probably be located along the Brownsville shipping channel.
   
    This would solve all the issues with beach closures, sound levels at Boca Chica Village, transporting
    BFR from the seaport to Boca Chica Beach, as well as any potential issues with launching a huge rocket
    from environmentally protected wetlands (e.g. a huge flame trench).

    The Gulf is only 72 feet deep 5 miles offshore from Boca Chica. Maybe that's what Gwynne meant when she
    said Boca Chica is "perfect for BFR".
   
    They could also build mutiple offshore pads that use the same onshore facilities.  Remember that each
    spaceship that goes to Mars requires 6 BFR launches, one for the spaceship itself, and 5 more for tankers
    to fill the spaceship. Also remember that Mars launch windows only occur every 2 years, and only last a
    couple of weeks. Depending on how long it takes to prepare a returned BFR booster and tanker for another
    launch, multiple offshore pads could significantly increase their launch rate during Mars windows.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 12/15/2017 10:14 PM
There are always the Starlink flights. Can the range handle the current flight rate plus Starlink? The 45th said a few months ago, that they will be able to support 48 launches per year at some point in the future. That would not be enough for SpaceX alone, not to mention the other tenants of the eastern range.
Yes.
In order for SpaceX to meet the 2200 sats deployed by EOY 2023, they need to launch 20 to 30 launches of sats per year. Add to that the ~18 other <60 degree inclination orbit launches and that brings just the <60 degree inclination orbit launches to 38 to 48. With other providers doing ~12 launches from the range that leaves only 36 launch slots for SpaceX. So SpaceX usage of BC could be from 2 to 12 as a matter of an inability to be able to launch enough from 40 and 39A.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/15/2017 10:16 PM
BFR build/test/launch is better situated in FL imo.

BFR will be built at a new facility in the Los Angeles area, somewhere near water.  Gwynne confirmed this at Stanford a couple of months ago.

By the way, there's a whole thread for speculating exactly where that new facility will be.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43871.msg1736187#msg1736187

As for where the first BFR launch will occur, my bet is on Florida, but there's a separate thread for that as well:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44168.0;all
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 12/15/2017 10:39 PM
BC would be great as a land launchpad and lander for multiple KSC range clearance free BFS tests pre-BFR. 
The stickler is the CURRENT # of launches allowed per year @ BC (12) which kills this application unless substantially revised.
Could we see SpaceX saying to Texas, we're changing our plans and leaving BC as simply a tracking station, UNLESS we get weekday clearance for sub-orbital BFS test flights, which by the way will be a fun tourist attraction?  Your choice.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/15/2017 11:02 PM
 A chunk of concrete and a poster for "Call before you dig". Good thing they didn't find the 13,000 volt 3 phase line buried a few feet away. It's a phone cable that a fence post hole found near the dish lot. Unused since nobody has wired service any more. Pre Cat anything, so they're not much good for data. I sat in muddy holes in the rain many times patching those together. In west Texas they'd actually have people witch the cables with two copper wires. You get use to not saying anything a lot out there.
 It looks like they have a couple of 100 pair cables coming this way.

 AT&T is running another fiber conduit this direction on the south side of the highway. This one is getting moled. The guy tracking down the compromised phone cables verified that they ran the first two fiber conduits from the university through an old gas pipeline they laid in the 60s.
 They're going to have more fiber capacity than Wyoming out here.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/15/2017 11:03 PM
BC would be great as a land launchpad and lander for multiple KSC range clearance free BFS tests pre-BFR. 
The stickler is the CURRENT # of launches allowed per year @ BC (12) which kills this application unless substantially revised.

No, the stickler is that the current EIS does not allow test flights of anything larger than F9.

Could we see SpaceX saying to Texas, we're changing our plans and leaving BC as simply a tracking station, UNLESS we get weekday clearance for sub-orbital BFS test flights, which by the way will be a fun tourist attraction?  Your choice.

The Federal government decides what is or isn't allowed at Boca Chica. If the Feds say something isn't kosher, it ain't gonna happen.  Texas has nothing to do with it.

Someone posted a picture of a sea turtle with rockets strapped to it, but it's no joke.  Sea turtles are an endangered species, and Boca Chica is a major nesting site.  This issue alone could easily prevent SpaceX from building a landing pad at Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/15/2017 11:30 PM

Someone posted a picture of a sea turtle with rockets strapped to it, but it's no joke.  Sea turtles are an endangered species, and Boca Chica is a major nesting site.  This issue alone could easily prevent SpaceX from building a landing pad at Boca Chica.
It's sort of a nesting site. All eggs are collected as soon as they're laid and taken north for incubation and release. I'd think the turtle people would get a little extra funding for nesting patrols once launches start. I'm not sure how the public would take cameras covering the beach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/16/2017 01:15 AM
I meant that the pad crew may never come down to build any type of Falcon pad

SPITexas said come down to Boca Chica. They didn't say come down to build a F9/FH pad.

It might be a while for that or maybe never too

By the way, to summarize some of the issues discussed over the last couple of months:

1) Will SpaceX scrap their plans for a Texas launch site?
    My opionion: No. I think SpaceX really wants a private launch site.

2) Will SpaceX launch BFR from Boca Chica?
    My opinion: Yes. Gwynne said Boca Chica is perfect for BFR.

3) Will SpaceX launch F9/FH from Boca Chica?
    My opinion: Unsure. Elon said they plan to replace F9/FH with BFR, but it all comes down to timing.
    We'll see what happens after the first Falcon Heavy test launch.

4) Will SpaceX launch BFR from Boca Chica Beach?
    My opinion: Unsure. If they do use an offshore pad, I'm assuming there would still be a lot of onshore
    support facilities (control center, antenna dishes, water tower,  propellant tanks, etc.). So the launch
    site as a whole would still be mostly at Boca Chica, but there would be a relatively small fixed platform
    a few miles offshore, with underwater cables and pipes connecting it with Boca Chica Beach. The hangar
    and payload processing facilities would probably be located along the Brownsville shipping channel.
   
    This would solve all the issues with beach closures, sound levels at Boca Chica Village, transporting
    BFR from the seaport to Boca Chica Beach, as well as any potential issues with launching a huge rocket
    from environmentally protected wetlands (e.g. a huge flame trench).

    The Gulf is only 72 feet deep 5 miles offshore from Boca Chica. Maybe that's what Gwynne meant when she
    said Boca Chica is "perfect for BFR".
   
    They could also build mutiple offshore pads that use the same onshore facilities.  Remember that each
    spaceship that goes to Mars requires 6 BFR launches, one for the spaceship itself, and 5 more for tankers
    to fill the spaceship. Also remember that Mars launch windows only occur every 2 years, and only last a
    couple of weeks. Depending on how long it takes to prepare a returned BFR booster and tanker for another
    launch, multiple offshore pads could significantly increase their launch rate during Mars windows.

Great summary, Dave G!

About offshore pads... in your writeup and also the writings of others I see "the pad is just a pad, no holding facilities" as a theme. But I'm having a hard time with the notion that you can run propellant 5 miles through piping, regardless of how well insulated, and not have it increase in temperature significantly. My thinking is that any pad will have chillers AND a goodly sized holding facility to store chilled propellant...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/16/2017 02:10 AM
But I'm having a hard time with the notion that you can run propellant 5 miles through piping, regardless of how well insulated, and not have it increase in temperature significantly. My thinking is that any pad will have chillers AND a goodly sized holding facility to store chilled propellant...

More than this?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/16/2017 02:21 AM
Yeah, more than that. Those spheres together look like at most 2 loads....
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/16/2017 03:45 AM
A chunk of concrete...

If I'm not mistaken, there are signs that chunk of concrete may grow.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/16/2017 09:02 AM
is that solid concrete all the way to the ground? if so that is a LOT of concrete for a one or two story building, isn't it? ... Thus suggesting it's a foundation for something very substantial.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jdeshetler on 12/16/2017 09:37 AM
I believe this foundation was raised to protect the electrical equipments from the storm surge level which contained salty water?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/16/2017 09:41 AM
I believe this foundation was raised to protect the electrical equipments from the storm surge level which contained salty water?
So it's hollow inside (gravel or whatever fill around external "walls" rather than solid concrete all the way down)?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/16/2017 12:41 PM
I believe this foundation was raised to protect the electrical equipments from the storm surge level which contained salty water?
So it's hollow inside (gravel or whatever fill around external "walls" rather than solid concrete all the way down)?

It's re-bar all the way down, at least around the sides, so I'm assuming that's solid.  Maybe they used some fill in the middle at the bottom.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/16/2017 01:42 PM
There’s no footings under this slab. Instead it’s laying directly on the ground. That’s why it’s so thick. If there were driven footings then the slab would be able to be much thinner. This is the same technique used for the actual bottom in slurry wall construction - where there are no driven piles under the building.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/16/2017 02:17 PM
The top of the slab is about 10 feet above flood, which is 1 foot higher than Beulah reached in 67. Look close and you can also see rebar in the bottom and middle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/16/2017 10:28 PM
I believe this foundation was raised to protect the electrical equipments from the storm surge level which contained salty water?
So it's hollow inside (gravel or whatever fill around external "walls" rather than solid concrete all the way down)?

With the way the conduit stubs up it looks like electrical gear could go on top, or perhaps a room with electrical that will be pulled into it. 

This is a normal first step in building up a facility. 

Also the foundations are normal for a spread out building, almost everything in Florida is built like this.  And the swamps of BC appear to be a lot like Florida.

I still don't see the need for the BC site.  But all the more power to them.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RotoSequence on 12/16/2017 10:34 PM
I'm completely lost on the color coding of the PVC pipe. Blue is normally used for water, but what's the blue and green for?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 12/16/2017 11:16 PM
I'm completely lost on the color coding of the PVC pipe. Blue is normally used for water, but what's the blue and green for?

In these parts green = sewage or drains, which would go with the sloped T's on them.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/17/2017 12:15 AM
The green seems to be smaller conduits.  Perhaps they could be for data or low voltage/control wiring. 

The blue looks like large diameter conduits for electrical copper.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/17/2017 10:07 AM
The green seems to be smaller conduits.  Perhaps they could be for data or low voltage/control wiring. 

The blue looks like large diameter conduits for electrical copper.
For a solar array, I believe the low voltage DC wires are larger, i.e. higher amperage. Also I imagine there would be more low voltage DC wires than high voltage AC wires.

They could be using micro-inverters, but with the potential for hurricanes and flooding, I'm guessing traditional inverters located on the concrete slabs.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/17/2017 01:55 PM
 I think wannamoonbase is probably right. They'll likely be monitoring every panel with the ability to bypass panels or strings. Maybe a little multiplexer in each electrical box at the end of the rack lines. Lots of data/control wires.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/17/2017 02:38 PM

For a solar array, I believe the low voltage DC wires are larger, i.e. higher amperage. Also I imagine there would be more low voltage DC wires than high voltage AC wires.

They could be using micro-inverters, but with the potential for hurricanes and flooding, I'm guessing traditional inverters located on the concrete slabs.
It will probably be high voltage DC. I'm mostly wild guessing 6 arrays per rack, which would be 216 volts if they were in series. I wouldn't be surprised if they went to the 400 volt range for DC, since that would keep wiring size down and be the same range the Model S uses. (Not sure what the model 3 is) It looks like the CS6U array can handle up to 1500 volts to ground.
 The details of how or if they're tying into the grid should be interesting. With a transfer switch just west of the STARGATE building they could possibly take over the whole grid east of there with public juice for backup or times you don't see the sun for a week.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/17/2017 02:51 PM
The green seems to be smaller conduits.  Perhaps they could be for data or low voltage/control wiring. 

The blue looks like large diameter conduits for electrical copper.
For a solar array, I believe the low voltage DC wires are larger, i.e. higher amperage. Also I imagine there would be more low voltage DC wires than high voltage AC wires.

They could be using micro-inverters, but with the potential for hurricanes and flooding, I'm guessing traditional inverters located on the concrete slabs.

Agreed, located on concrete slabs and inside an elevated waterproof building.

Dam I love and miss construction.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/17/2017 09:54 PM
You know, regarding F9 from BC...

Total cost of SLC 40 re-biuld was, what, $50M?   Less than the revenue from a single launch.

With the forecast flight rates, SpaceX is certainly putting the pads to high use, and always running the risk of losing a pad. So it's a low-cost, high-payoff proposition...  Especially when they already have the project started, land acquired, soil compaction happening, etc.

BFR, whether from 39A or from Texas, will come into play, but will only accentuate the need for an extra F9 pad.

If BFR launches from 39A, there will have to be work on the pad, and this will further elevate the need for a BC pad.

If BFR launches from Texas, then BC becomes a much larger project, and at that point the marginal cost of an F9 pad will be almost negligible.

So we'll see... 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 12/17/2017 10:17 PM
Given the number of tanker launches per BFS mission, ISTM it'll fly from and land at both Boca Chica and KSC. Launch, transfer, land, refill. Rinse, wash, repeat until 2 BFS's are full.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/17/2017 10:43 PM
Total cost of SLC 40 re-biuld was, what, $50M?   Less than the revenue from a single launch...

If BFR launches from Texas, then BC becomes a much larger project, and at that point the marginal cost of an F9 pad will be almost negligible.

Good point.

But the counter-point: To launch F9 from Boca Chica, they need to build a lot more than just a launch pad.  They have to build the whole thing from scratch, including control center buildings, payload processing buildings, plus 2 hangars (one HIF, and one for refurbishing boosters).  They even have to build their own solar system for power and drill their own well for deluge water.

And all this comes at a time where Elon just announced a major change in priority for BFR.  As of September, SpaceX no longer plans for Starlink to fund BFR.  Elon said they intend to fund BFR with just the money they get from launching satellites and servicing the space station.  Elon also said the first BFR Mars missions will be in September 2022, way before any Starlink revenues.

So in order to free up funds for BFR, SpaceX may choose to squeeze the most they can out of their 3 current launch pads and 1 landing pad, and delay the Boca Chica site for cash flow reasons.

But to be clear, I have no clue whether F9 will launch from Boca Chica.  I can argue both sides of this. That's why I'm unsure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/17/2017 10:47 PM
Given the number of tanker launches per BFS mission, ISTM it'll fly from and land at both Boca Chica and KSC. Launch, transfer, land, refill. Rinse, wash, repeat until 2 BFS's are full.

In the long term, yes, I think they'll launch BFR from both Florida and Texas.

For the first Mars missions in 2022, I think they'll have to choose one or the other.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Comga on 12/17/2017 11:54 PM
Given the number of tanker launches per BFS mission, ISTM it'll fly from and land at both Boca Chica and KSC. Launch, transfer, land, refill. Rinse, wash, repeat until 2 BFS's are full.

In the long term, yes, I think they'll launch BFR from both Florida and Texas.

For the first Mars missions in 2022, I think they'll have to choose one or the other.

To what common inclination can BFRs be launched from both the Cape and Boca Chica?
They need to be in the same orbit to rendezvous for fuel transfer.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/18/2017 12:59 AM
Total cost of SLC 40 re-biuld was, what, $50M?   Less than the revenue from a single launch...

If BFR launches from Texas, then BC becomes a much larger project, and at that point the marginal cost of an F9 pad will be almost negligible.

Good point.

But the counter-point: To launch F9 from Boca Chica, they need to build a lot more than just a launch pad.  They have to build the whole thing from scratch, including control center buildings, payload processing buildings, plus 2 hangars (one HIF, and one for refurbishing boosters).  They even have to build their own solar system for power and drill their own well for deluge water.

And all this comes at a time where Elon just announced a major change in priority for BFR.  As of September, SpaceX no longer plans for Starlink to fund BFR.  Elon said they intend to fund BFR with just the money they get from launching satellites and servicing the space station.  Elon also said the first BFR Mars missions will be in September 2022, way before any Starlink revenues.

So in order to free up funds for BFR, SpaceX may choose to squeeze the most they can out of their 3 current launch pads and 1 landing pad, and delay the Boca Chica site for cash flow reasons.

But to be clear, I have no clue whether F9 will launch from Boca Chica.  I can argue both sides of this. That's why I'm unsure.

OK - call it $100M. 

All the points still stand.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/18/2017 01:02 AM
Given the number of tanker launches per BFS mission, ISTM it'll fly from and land at both Boca Chica and KSC. Launch, transfer, land, refill. Rinse, wash, repeat until 2 BFS's are full.

In the long term, yes, I think they'll launch BFR from both Florida and Texas.

For the first Mars missions in 2022, I think they'll have to choose one or the other.

Agreed, but I think a single BFS can be refueled from a single pad.  5 launches, 5 days?   10 days?   15?  All very acceptable.

Without a doubt though, multiple BFR sites are coming, which is why I like the off-shore ideas, since they have more in common as you move from site to site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/18/2017 02:23 AM
I think a single BFS can be refueled from a single pad.  5 launches, 5 days?   10 days?   15?  All very acceptable.

SpaceX plans to send 2 BFS cargo ships to Mars in 2022.

Each BFS cargo ship will probably require 6 BFR launches, one for the BFS cargo ship itself, and 5 more tanker launches to fully fuel each BFS cargo ship.

So that's 12 launches total. 

How close together do these 12 launches need to be?  Not very.  The BFS cargo ships can hang around in low earth orbit for a while before Trans-Mars Injection.  So they could take a couple of months for all the tanker flights.  They just need to make sure that both cargo ships are fully fueled before the optimal Earth/Mars alignment for TMI.

Bottom line: A single BFR launch pad can easily send 2 BFS spaceships to Mars at the same time.

Note: Elon mentioned that the first tanker ships will just be empty cargo ships, but eventually SpaceX plans to build a dedicated optimized tanker.  At that point, SpaceX may be able to use only 4 tanker flights to fully fuel the spaceship.  But for now, using empty cargo ships as tankers, I believe they'll need 5 tanker flights per spaceship, or 6 total launches per spaceship.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/19/2017 07:11 PM
http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_afae9d44-e465-11e7-b352-472baa7fd462.html#utm_campaign=blox&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social
The island most expensive improvement is Isla Blanca park for $6.5 million with a SpaceX viewing. Improving 3 parks  $30 million in total expected to be completed late spring or early summer Isla Blanca park.
Equipment arrives next week at Isla Blanca.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RedLineTrain on 12/19/2017 08:26 PM
Interesting to note that the amphitheater is at such an angle that it would work well to view launches from Boca Chica beach or ~10 miles offshore from the beach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/19/2017 10:18 PM
Interesting to note that the amphitheater is at such an angle that it would work well to view launches from Boca Chica beach or ~10 miles offshore from the beach.
Yeah, it's designed to watch the launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Comga on 12/20/2017 12:20 AM
Interesting to note that the amphitheater is at such an angle that it would work well to view launches from Boca Chica beach or ~10 miles offshore from the beach.
Yeah, it's designed to watch the launches.
Of course
But his point was that the stands would work for viewing launches from the beach site currently being developed and for the offshore launch platforms hypothesized by some for the BFR.

However, it looks like SPI is getting ahead of themselves. It seems a risk to build the launch viewing stands before SpaceX builds the launch pad. SpaceX is very .... agile, let’s say. Plans do change.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 12/20/2017 03:14 AM
I am quite sure it is for concerts as well and only additional for launch watching.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/20/2017 03:26 AM
Interesting to note that the amphitheater is at such an angle that it would work well to view launches from Boca Chica beach or ~10 miles offshore from the beach.
Yeah, it's designed to watch the launches.
Of course
But his point was that the stands would work for viewing launches from the beach site currently being developed and for the offshore launch platforms hypothesized by some for the BFR.

However, it looks like SPI is getting ahead of themselves. It seems a risk to build the launch viewing stands before SpaceX builds the launch pad. SpaceX is very .... agile, let’s say. Plans do change.

 The County Park Director was smart enough to get ready for Contruction Becuase the people that lived there wanted to know when it will start,
and the park really needed the improvements what made them basically commence it was Probably the destruction of the old Isla Blanca entrance it wasn’t ready for a redo yet but they had to do something right.
 Someone crashed into it completely destroyed. The county doesn’t  know the possibility of the BFR launching from here yet. Only about the falcons9 and heavy.
Then and now
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/20/2017 03:38 AM
1812 overture finale...  Timed just right...  krakawoooosh!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/20/2017 10:45 AM
I am quite sure it is for concerts as well and only additional for launch watching.

And general partying.  It looks like there's a dance floor right next to the shoreline.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/20/2017 02:17 PM
Not related to this thread but wanted to show you what SpaceX most powerful rocket will look like. Note: this is real for real.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/20/2017 03:49 PM


For a solar array, I believe the low voltage DC wires are larger, i.e. higher amperage. Also I imagine there would be more low voltage DC wires than high voltage AC wires.

They could be using micro-inverters, but with the potential for hurricanes and flooding, I'm guessing traditional inverters located on the concrete slabs.
It will probably be high voltage DC. I'm mostly wild guessing 6 arrays per rack, which would be 216 volts if they were in series. I wouldn't be surprised if they went to the 400 volt range for DC, since that would keep wiring size down and be the same range the Model S uses. (Not sure what the model 3 is) It looks like the CS6U array can handle up to 1500 volts to ground.
 The details of how or if they're tying into the grid should be interesting. With a transfer switch just west of the STARGATE building they could possibly take over the whole grid east of there with public juice for backup or times you don't see the sun for a week.

 It turns out they're going to run the solar DC at 1,000 volts.

 The crane garage is almost there. It has half a roof now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/20/2017 06:27 PM
It turns out they're going to run the solar DC at 1,000 volts.

Wow.  I'm guessing that's around 28 panels in series.  So if any of these fail, the whole string goes out, yes?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/20/2017 06:43 PM
It turns out they're going to run the solar DC at 1,000 volts.

Wow.  I'm guessing that's around 28 panels in series.  So if any of these fail, the whole string goes out, yes?
There are several ways they could do it. The setup in that big a string might be that a 35 volt drop doesn't hurt much and they could bypass individual panels. Even the number of panels in series is a little fuzzy since voltage per panel is anywhere from 35 to 46 volts depending on the load. I don't know how they're going to feed the strings into the charger/inverter/whatever, but I wouldn't think it would just be tying them all straight together.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 12/20/2017 07:18 PM
Typically if your doing high voltage PV (600 or 1000v)...
You do one series string till open circuit voltage on the coldest day is just under limit and feed it to one inverter...
So say 20 panels with 48v open circuit volts on the coldest day of the year... just under 1000v
The invertors are MPPT type and load it down to well under that... say 800-900v range in bright sun...
850v and say 12 amps... 10kw inverter on each string...
Reality is PV's are solid state and either fail on infant mortality or from damage (storm, vandals, etc)
SO... big systems they go ahead and run series/parallel... and go with much bigger inverters...
And, there is usually some sort of monitor on the combiner box... that isolates and flags out of service strings needing inspection/repair...

Nice thing about Texas...
You don't have -30 below F days with open circuit voltage out the roof to deal with like we have here sometimes to remember to plan for...
That said... PV likes the cold... they work better the colder it is...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/20/2017 09:20 PM
 I haven't worked with the newer stuff, but with older panels, it only took a tiny load to bring the open circuit voltage way down.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 12/21/2017 12:20 AM
Yeah the MPPT circuits make a huge difference in solar panel efficiency.  Getting the I/V in the sweet spot is a big deal. MPPT becoming cheaper with the general cheaper-electronics trend is one of the ways solar has gotten better faster than raw solar panel efficiency has improved.

At One Laptop per Child my coworker integrated MPPT directly into our battery-charging electronics to make cheap solar panels charge our laptops really well.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/21/2017 12:41 AM
Yeah the MPPT circuits make a huge difference in solar panel efficiency.  Getting the I/V in the sweet spot is a big deal. MPPT becoming cheaper with the general cheaper-electronics trend is one of the ways solar has gotten better faster than raw solar panel efficiency has improved.

At One Laptop per Child my coworker integrated MPPT directly into our battery-charging electronics to make cheap solar panels charge our laptops really well.
You were involved in OLPC? I salute you sir. I had some wikimedian friends involved in that. One has to wonder how much better OLPC would be now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: vaporcobra on 12/21/2017 06:55 AM
Sunset on the eve of winter solstice in Texas :) Courtesy of an Instagram user, username withheld for privacy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/23/2017 12:52 AM
 Large, gray metal things are making themselves known. I hope they realize it's going to rain tonight.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: UKobserver on 12/23/2017 03:24 AM
Whatever the original plan may have been, I think SpaceX is now going to use BC as their prototype BFR/BFS launch pad, where they can experiment, iterate and learn lessons before modifying/building pads elsewhere. Here is the basis for my rationale;

Firstly I agree that SpaceX will want to keep their pad crew construction busy, and will move them onto their next project as soon as they finish preparing 39A for FH. However I think they have several other priorities before they can tackle Boca Chica. The Crew Access Arm at 39A is one, to enable Commercial Crew, vertical integration hardware at 39A is another, to secure those contracts (not sure if they have a deadline for when this is needed), and I think upgrading SLC-4E for faster pad turnaround between launches (throwback etc) is likely to be another. They seem to have more Vandenberg payloads than they can launch at the moment, and I can imagine they would want to remove that constraint, particularly with Starlink coming up. So my first thought is that they may not be ready to work on BC for quite a while (6-18mths). That might explain the shed around the crane.

I also agree that they now have a surplus of capacity on the east coast. With both LC-39A and SLC-40 now capable of 2 week turnarounds (and SpaceX seem to be working on reducing that further), each of those pads is theoretically capable of 24 launches per year, or in reality more like 20 when the range maintenance period, weather etc are factored in. Given their stated aim of increasing launch cadence 50% in 2018 (27-33 planned launches?), and with Vandenberg currently capable of 8-10 of those, they could very nearly achieve that objective even if they lost one of their east coast pads. It wouldn't be great for them, as they would then be struggling to fit all their contracted launches in, but it's just about doable, and not too many would slip to the right in the near term. In the mid-term that could become an issue though, as I don't think one pad would be enough on the east coast once they are ready to start launching Starlink in earnest. So the window of opportunity where they can get away with one east coast pad isn't very long, and it's risky, as AMOS-6 proved. But for now the limiting factor seems to be production and refurbishment of boosters. So the need for BC from a near-term F9 launch pad availability perspective has diminished significantly.

However we do know that they want to make rapid progress on BFR/BFS, and that means they are going to want to start conducting static fires, sub-orbital and full orbital launches as soon as they have vehicle hardware ready, which means they need a pad/facility in place to do so. I don't know how long people envisage them taking to build the first spaceship or booster but to make their stated 2022 Mars window they have to be aiming for 2020 I would think to start testing. So the question is; where will that first pad be?

The consensus seems to be that LC-39A will become a BFR/BFS pad, and I agree that is likely long-term, but I don't believe it will be the first. More knowledgeable commentators may like to weigh in here, but the amount of construction/modification that I envisage would be needed at LC-39A makes me think that they would have to take it off-line in order to do the work. I think it would be too dangerous/complicated/disruptive to try to slot all that work in-between launches. But if they were to take LC-39A offline before BC was constructed then they are back to being constrained by east coast pad slots, and in danger of having no east coast launch pad at all if LC-40 were to suffer another accident during construction at LC-39A, which is a big risk to their cashflow. They could solve that problem by building BC as a Falcon 9 pad first, before then rebuilding 39A for BFR, but that would massively delay testing of BFR, so I don't think they will do that.

So the most logical solution for me is; leave LC-39A and SLC-40 alone, now that they are both operating efficiently and effectively. Let those pads work through the east coast manifest and earn the revenue SpaceX needs to fund everything else. Meanwhile, once the pad crews have finished their other tasks, they can then move down to Boca Chica and with a blank canvas to work with, build a first prototype of a BFR pad. It wont be perfect to start with, but they'll learn lessons as they test the first few BFR/BFS vehicles, they'll implement pad upgrades based on those lessons and iterate as they have done with their other pads.

I can see them starting to trial launching their own Starlink satellites from BC as soon as BFR/BFS has proven itself capable of reaching orbit; if you're making experimental test launches then you might as well send a few each time, especially if they hit their cost targets for Starlink. They will need BFS to make a second burn as it crosses the equator, increasing the inclination of the orbit to reach that desired for each Starlink orbital plane, but I don't see that being any more difficult than reducing inclination over the equator, which they do every time they launch a GTO satellite. And with BFR they have an absolutely enormous payload capability to play with, so they can afford to trade some of that payload for the fuel needed to increase inclination. And fuel is cheap, as Elon has pointed out. At the same time they are testing boostback and landing, and inspecting boosters and learning what needs refurbishing on them.

Once they have proven their capability to launch high-inclination east coast satellites from Boca Chica, and assuming they are by that point able to get multiple reflights out of each BFR/BFS (thus amortizing the high unit cost of each over many flights), then they can switch half of their east coast launches from LC-39A down to BC and then take 39A offline in order to convert it to a BFR/BFS pad (or dual-use if they wish). By that point they should be far enough down the learning curve that LC-39A can be built to a more robust (version 2) design.

At some point they will also need to build a BFR/BFS pad at Vandenberg. Thinking about it; they might choose to do that after BC and before LC-39A, because they would want a west coast pad for Starlink as soon as possible, and there's no point them having massive capacity on the east coast (BFR from both BC + 39A, plus F9 from 40) while they're struggling to manage with F9/FH from one pad at Vandenberg. So possibly the pad crew will move to the west coast next and then LC-39A after that. Or by then they may have trained up a second pad crew and be able to do both at the same time, a capability they will need to have sooner or later if they genuinely want to build enough pads to realise their plans of flying point to point to multiple locations around the world.

So that's the order I think things will happen. Short of abandoning BC altogether and building a completely new pad for BFR/BFS at Cape Canaveral (LC-39C or D were considered by NASA at one time I believe?) I don't think they have much option, without either delaying BFR or constraining themselves on the east coast. They could possibly get away with just using LC-40 for a couple of years if they could further reduce the turn-around time between launches, but that would be at the risk of being without an east coast pad altogether if something goes wrong, and might also leave them short of capacity once they wish to be deploying Starlink in earnest.

I guess ultimately we'll have to wait and see. Hope some of you managed to wade through that!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/23/2017 03:39 AM
Large, gray metal things are making themselves know. I hope they realize it's going to rain tonight.

I suspect those enclosures will be used for inverters and other electronics.

If they're going to add batteries to this solar array, which hasn't yet been confirmed, these would presumably be Tesla PowerPacks, which are white, and look quite different.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/23/2017 03:46 AM
<snip>
At some point they will also need to build a BFR/BFS pad at Vandenberg. Thinking about it; they might choose to do that after BC and before LC-39A, because they would want a west coast pad for Starlink as soon as possible, and there's no point them having massive capacity on the east coast (BFR from both BC + 39A, plus F9 from 40) while they're struggling to manage with F9/FH from one pad at Vandenberg. So possibly the pad crew will move to the west coast next and then LC-39A after that. Or by then they may have trained up a second pad crew and be able to do both at the same time, a capability they will need to have sooner or later if they genuinely want to build enough pads to realise their plans of flying point to point to multiple locations around the world.
<snip>

Or SpaceX can build a fleet of BFR sized ASDS floating platforms after where ever they chose as the first BFR pad. Especially if they start the P2P (point to point) service with the BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/23/2017 04:02 AM
Or SpaceX can build a fleet of BFR sized ASDS floating platforms after where ever they chose as the first BFR pad.
I think a floating platform to launch and land BFR/BFS is highly unlikely.  Way more issues here.  For a rocket that big, a floating platform would probably need to be huge, which would be really expensive.

Fixed launch pads several miles offshore seem much more likely.  These would have legs that physically connect with the ocean floor, with cables and pipelines connecting back to land.  This arrangement is very typical in the oil and gas industry, so it would probably be relatively economical.

Especially if they start the P2P (point to point) service with the BFR.
For this, Elon's presentation showed a small launch platform several miles offshore.  This implies a fixed launch platform that's physically connected to the ocean floor.  A floating platform for a BFR size rocket would probably need to be an order of magnitude larger.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/23/2017 05:02 AM
So my first thought is that they may not be ready to work on BC for quite a while (6-18mths). That might explain the shed around the crane.
I've thought the same, but as others have mentioned upthread, delaying that long could be a public relations issue for SpaceX in South Texas. So I'm unsure whether F9 will launch from BC or not.

But for now the limiting factor seems to be production and refurbishment of boosters.
Why do you say this?

However we do know that they want to make rapid progress on BFR/BFS, and that means they are going to want to start conducting static fires, sub-orbital and full orbital launches as soon as they have vehicle hardware ready, which means they need a pad/facility in place to do so. I don't know how long people envisage them taking to build the first spaceship or booster but to make their stated 2022 Mars window they have to be aiming for 2020 I would think to start testing. So the question is; where will that first pad be?
Note that there's a separate thread titled "Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?":
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44168.0;all

So the most logical solution for me is; leave LC-39A and SLC-40 alone, now that they are both operating efficiently and effectively...
Note that many have speculated about the possibility of a fixed pad several miles offshore, both for Boca Chica and Florida.

Once they have proven their capability to launch high-inclination east coast satellites from Boca Chica, and assuming they are by that point able to get multiple reflights out of each BFR/BFS (thus amortizing the high unit cost of each over many flights), then they can switch half of their east coast launches from LC-39A down to BC and then take 39A offline in order to convert it to a BFR/BFS pad (or dual-use if they wish)...
For test flights of BFR and/or BFS from Boca Chica, SpaceX would need to seek approval from the Federal Avaition Administraion. As part of this approval process, the FAA is required to have a public comment period. A public comment period means we'd know if/when SpaceX is seeking additional approvals for BC.  So far, it appears they have not.

To clarify, Boca Chica is currently limited to:
• a mamimum of 12 total launches per year
• a mamimum of 2 Falcon Heavy launches per year
• no test flights of any launch vehicle larger than Falcon 9
• no launches on summer weekends or holidays, due to Texas public beach closure laws

Also, the current EIS notes that the noise level for Falcon Heavy is actually 2dB over the legal limit in Boca Chica Village, but the FAA let this slide because:
• There are not many people living in Boca Chica Village
• SpaceX offered to hand out earplugs to all local residents before every FH launch
• They're only allowed 2 Falcon Heavy launches per year

In addition, the whole area surrounding the launch site is environmentally protected wetlands.  For example, the phrase "sea turtle" is mentioned 96 times in the EIS. Since sea turtles are an endangered species, this could also cause limitations.  For example, a BFR sized flame trench may not be allowed.

Note that a fixed BFR pad several miles offshore would presumably solve all of these potential issues.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/23/2017 02:19 PM
We have not heard any news of SpaceX abondoning or delaying the site Contruction.  I wouldn’t guess its being delayed Becuase of a crane, that’s for the BFR. It is still planned after LC-40 is active and after they launch a possible successful launch of the Falcon Heavy in January your right they’ll come over to Boca Chica. We’ve barely seen anything happen some of us are pretty confident they’ll be activity. They still want this launch site to happen and yes it could be a back up launch site if anything happens to the other ones so Boca Chica isn’t forgotten.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RDMM2081 on 12/23/2017 06:32 PM
In regards to floating or otherwise offshore launch pads, I am curious what the "TRL" of maritime delivery of LOX/LNG is?  I assume a fixed pad offshore could be plumbed in some way to pipeline the LOX/LNG directly to staging tanks, or directly to the booster?  But if the case were in fact a floating pad, would it be possible to use flexible pipelines? Would they have necessary insulation to deliver densified LOX?  Since I assume this is not feasible to use flexible temporary pipelines, is ship-based delivery of these propellants a reasonable option?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/23/2017 08:54 PM
Depending on how and where the platform is constrained, it is possible to have piping deliver to a floating platform. But it needs to be pretty tightly constrained. Free in the vertical direction only is probably the easiest to design for.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 12/23/2017 09:10 PM
I don't know if it's feasible to pipe liquified L2 and CH4 across 5 miles of ocean, but certainly it could be piped in gasseous form and liquified there. So perhaps a separate but nearby platform for liquification/densification, with tanks. Delivering liquified propellant by boat would be less convenient. Maybe liquified propellants can be delivered by pipe, but it just seems difficult to me to keep it cold enough going that distance.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/23/2017 09:16 PM
I don't know if it's feasible to pipe liquified L2 and CH4 across 5 miles of ocean, but certainly it could be piped in gasseous form and liquified there. So perhaps a separate but nearby platform for liquification/densification, with tanks. Delivering liquified propellant by boat would be less convenient. Maybe liquified propellants can be delivered by pipe, but it just seems difficult to me to keep it cold enough going that distance.
This was discussed up thread and the consensus seems to be that it is possible but you are going to have to recool on arrival or during storage.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: biosehnsucht on 12/24/2017 07:48 AM
With all the EIS issues, and potentially needing to go offshore fixed platform for BFR anyways, how much of a stretch would it be to just go offshore for Falcon 9/Heavy too? You could build one main causeway out a few miles, then have it split to separate pads, with the number of pads limited only by how much money you want to spend.

Run power and prop along this causeway too (prop either piped and re-chilled and stored per pad or perhaps just at the point where the causeway splits to the various pads, or truck/train/loop it there instead of pipes), rather than running plumbing underwater - saves you all the extra underwater welding in the case of piping it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: speedevil on 12/24/2017 12:40 PM
With all the EIS issues, and potentially needing to go offshore fixed platform for BFR anyways, how much of a stretch would it be to just go offshore for Falcon 9/Heavy too?

BFR is designed from the ground up for utterly minimal launch requirements.
Limited refurbishment, inspection, simple payload attachment, ...

F9H isn't.
'24h turnaround', with presumably most of that being touch-labour on the rocket is very different from pretty much land, gas and go.

You could of course do F9/H refurbishment and launch offshore, but the amount of hardware you need would be orders of magnitude more.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/24/2017 01:12 PM
With all the EIS issues, and potentially needing to go offshore fixed platform for BFR anyways, how much of a stretch would it be to just go offshore for Falcon 9/Heavy too?

SpaceX already has 3 pads. There's been a lot of discussion about whether SpaceX needs a 4th pad for Falcon 9. 

LC-40 was not just rebuilt, it was also upgraded.  SpaceX said those upgrades should allow faster turnaround times.

The market for geosynchronous satellites seems to be shrinking lately. SpaceX said Boca Chica was mainly for GTO.

Then there's Starlink.  NSF folks have posted various launch calculations on this.  Some show they can do fine with their 3 existing pads, even if a pad goes down for a while.  Some show they'll need a 4th F9 pad.  All of this is speculative.

There are also public relations issues.  SpaceX originally said they may be launching from Boca Chica as soon as 2016, leading to many new jobs in the area.  In response to this, State and Local governments gave SpaceX various incentives.  Assuming SpaceX could launch F9 by this time next year, that would already be 2 years late.  If they delay another 2 years for a BFR-only launch site, public sentiment may turn against SpaceX.

So I'm unsure whether they'll launch F9 from Boca Chica or not.  I can see arguments both for and against.

I'm fairly certain they'll launch BFR from Boca Chica, but I'm not sure if it will be from Boca Chica Beach, or from an offshore launch pad.

You could build one main causeway out a few miles, then have it split to separate pads, with the number of pads limited only by how much money you want to spend.

Run power and prop along this causeway too (prop either piped and re-chilled and stored per pad or perhaps just at the point where the causeway splits to the various pads, or truck/train/loop it there instead of pipes), rather than running plumbing underwater - saves you all the extra underwater welding in the case of piping it.
I think a causeway is highly unlikely.  Underwater cables and pipes are much cheaper.

I also think an offshore pad for Falcon 9 is highly unlikely.

SpaceX already has permission to launch F9/FH from Boca Chica Beach, and they plan to scrap F9/FH.

In September, Musk said they'll stop building Falcon 9 / Dragon, and switch to using BFR for launching satellites and servicing the space station.  The cost of launching BFR is less than launching Falcon 1, let alone Falcon 9.

So Falcon 9's days are numbered.  Why optimize something they plan to scrap?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Radical_Ignorant on 12/24/2017 01:37 PM
[...]
Note that a fixed BFR pad several miles offshore would presumably solve all of these potential issues.

Not sure how to count that, but offshore platforms for oil industry  - that's source of tech for possible SX offshore launch side - are really expensive*. In range of good hundreds of $millions. That's huge number, not sure if SX wan't to take that. That's different scale for oil industry and space launching industry. What's possible there is not always applicable here. And we don't know how hard those issues are to legally solve them talking to local gov. Talk is cheap, offshore platform definitely not.


* http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/print/volume-72/issue-7/rig-report/reviewing-rig-construction-cost-factors.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/24/2017 01:46 PM
I don't know if it's feasible to pipe liquified L2 and CH4 across 5 miles of ocean, but certainly it could be piped in gasseous form and liquified there. So perhaps a separate but nearby platform for liquification/densification, with tanks. Delivering liquified propellant by boat would be less convenient. Maybe liquified propellants can be delivered by pipe, but it just seems difficult to me to keep it cold enough going that distance.
Distance isn't the problem as much as time. You can pipe low pressure LNG 20 miles underwater, but that depends on a good enough flow rate to keep it from warming. Starting and stopping all the time would be an issue. Even if they did send liquid to a launch platform, they'd still be collecting a lot of gas during runup and need to deal with it somehow. Since they'd need chilling capacity in any case, and compressing it to liquid is easy once you have that, shipping it in gas form seems a lot simpler to me.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 12/24/2017 01:55 PM
Couldn't you just run the pipe in a loop, out and back. Put chillers on the landward end and tap off the LNG at the pad once you're getting a good LNG flow at that end. Might even work for LOX too.

I do think an offshore pad or floating pad is extremely unlikely though.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/24/2017 01:55 PM
I don't know if it's feasible to pipe liquified L2 and CH4 across 5 miles of ocean, but certainly it could be piped in gasseous form and liquified there. So perhaps a separate but nearby platform for liquification/densification, with tanks. Delivering liquified propellant by boat would be less convenient. Maybe liquified propellants can be delivered by pipe, but it just seems difficult to me to keep it cold enough going that distance.
Distance isn't the problem as much as time. You can pipe low pressure LNG 20 miles underwater, but that depends on a good enough flow rate to keep it from warming. Starting and stopping all the time would be an issue. Even if they did send liquid to a launch platform, they'd still be collecting a lot of gas during runup and need to deal with it somehow. Since they'd need chilling capacity in any case, and compressing it to liquid is easy once you have that, shipping it in gas form seems a lot simpler to me.
BFR can keep a small pipeline busy 24/7 if launched 1/day.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/24/2017 02:04 PM

BFR can keep a small pipeline busy 24/7 if launched 1/day.
Small can actually be better for thermal reasons even though you have a greater surface area to volume ratio, because higher pressure allows for warmer liquid and higher speed means less time in the pipeline. I heard of fancy new insulating methods back in my Chevron days, but don't know how far they've gotten.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/24/2017 02:46 PM
I don't know if it's feasible to pipe liquified L2 and CH4 across 5 miles of ocean, but certainly it could be piped in gasseous form and liquified there. So perhaps a separate but nearby platform for liquification/densification, with tanks. Delivering liquified propellant by boat would be less convenient. Maybe liquified propellants can be delivered by pipe, but it just seems difficult to me to keep it cold enough going that distance.
Distance isn't the problem as much as time. You can pipe low pressure LNG 20 miles underwater, but that depends on a good enough flow rate to keep it from warming. Starting and stopping all the time would be an issue. Even if they did send liquid to a launch platform, they'd still be collecting a lot of gas during runup and need to deal with it somehow. Since they'd need chilling capacity in any case, and compressing it to liquid is easy once you have that, shipping it in gas form seems a lot simpler to me.
BFR can keep a small pipeline busy 24/7 if launched 1/day.
Follow up:

4000 tons over 80,000 seconds is 50 kg/second, ballpark.

Should split the two propellants since different densities...  LOX at 1, LNG at 0.5..

So need 40 kg/sec of LOX, and 10 of LNG.  Or 40 liters/sec LOX, and 20 of LNG.

15 cm (6") pipes, area is 0.018 m2, so for 0.1 m/sec flow we get 1.8 liters/second

So one OOM too small/slow

Go with 30 cm (1'), and we're there.

(Unless you make the O2 on the platform, in which case only the LNG pipe is necessary)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Austin Dave on 12/24/2017 03:01 PM
How would SpaceX transport the BFR to a pad that's 5 miles out in the Gulf?  I know the scenario that Elon Musk presented is that it would be serviced and loaded at the pad, but that seems unrealistic.  It seems more realistic that it would be assembled on land, and then transported to the pad.  There are many things about the BFR that don't make sense, and I hope the future of Boca Chica doesn't depend on it.

If I had to guess how things will actually unfold I would think that the BFR will never happen as Musk presented it.  It's more likely that the F9 and FH, or something like them will be produced with the new Raptor engines.  It's hard to say whether a launch facility at Boca Chica will ever be built.  If SpaceX can do everything they want at Florida and Vandenburg why would they ever need to build a launch facility at Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/24/2017 03:26 PM
How would SpaceX transport the BFR to a pad that's 5 miles out in the Gulf?  I know the scenario that Elon Musk presented is that it would be serviced and loaded at the pad, but that seems unrealistic.  It seems more realistic that it would be assembled on land, and then transported to the pad.  There are many things about the BFR that don't make sense, and I hope the future of Boca Chica doesn't depend on it.

If I had to guess how things will actually unfold I would think that the BFR will never happen as Musk presented it.  It's more likely that the F9 and FH, or something like them will be produced with the new Raptor engines.  It's hard to say whether a launch facility at Boca Chica will ever be built.  If SpaceX can do everything they want at Florida and Vandenburg why would they ever need to build a launch facility at Boca Chica.
Well...  Like many others on this forum, you're entitled to your opinion...

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/24/2017 03:36 PM
Can't colonize Mars with F9. Or even FH. So either BFR happens, or Musk is lying about his ambitions. 

Detailed debate of that is off-topic for here.

(NOTE: I was wearing my mod hat when I said that last part. .. some posts debating the point have been removed...)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/24/2017 09:08 PM
 Speaking of laying offshore pipeline, this guy has been working off the beach for a couple of weeks, I assume on the 42 inch Mexican network feeder. All SpaceX has to do is tune the engine to work with a little extra ethane and nitrogen and tap in.

 All the discussion of gas or liquid and what facilities the launch site will need to process the gas might also apply to the land site. With major gas/LNG facilities five miles away, a pipeline to a land pad might make more sense than hundreds of trucks going back and forth. The Annova facility they're building right now on the south side of the ship channel would be a pretty a pretty convenient supplier.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/24/2017 10:59 PM
Speaking of laying offshore pipeline, this guy has been working off the beach for a couple of weeks, I assume on the 42 inch Mexican network feeder. All SpaceX has to do is tune the engine to work with a little extra ethane and nitrogen and tap in.
The removal of ethane and nitrogen is apparently quite easy during liquefaction which has to be done anyway.... I suspect that's probably a better approach than detuning the Raptor.  But yeah, it's natural to tap into one or more of the many different sources rather than trucking.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Avron on 12/24/2017 11:15 PM
Removal of other gasses from the fuel is critical for engine combustion stability - you really don't want to deal with any pulsing on the injector .
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Austin Dave on 12/25/2017 12:47 AM
It seems like most of the discussion on this thread has been about things other than the SpaceX Texas launch site.  Mostly because there hasn't been any direct activity on the launch site in over a year.  There has been work on Stargate, the tracking antennas and a warehouse for crane parts.  Also the highway has been widened and utility conduits have been laid along the road.  I'm just curious -- has there been any construction activity at all in 2017 on the control center, HIF or the launch pad?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/25/2017 01:00 AM
It seems like most of the discussion on this thread has been about things other than the SpaceX Texas launch site.  Mostly because there hasn't been any direct activity on the launch site in over a year.  There has been work on Stargate, the tracking antennas and a warehouse for crane parts.  Also the highway has been widened and utility conduits have been laid along the road.  I'm just curious -- has there been any construction activity at all in 2017 on the control center, HIF or the launch pad?
Nope. Not sure if they know what they're going to construct yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Roy_H on 12/25/2017 02:06 AM
It seems like most of the discussion on this thread has been about things other than the SpaceX Texas launch site.  Mostly because there hasn't been any direct activity on the launch site in over a year.  There has been work on Stargate, the tracking antennas and a warehouse for crane parts.  Also the highway has been widened and utility conduits have been laid along the road.  I'm just curious -- has there been any construction activity at all in 2017 on the control center, HIF or the launch pad?
Nope. Not sure if they know what they're going to construct yet.

Which is exactly why we talk about everything else.

So, I figure I will add my own speculation: For a long time I thought that the off-shore launch platform was a silly idea, but the more I think about it there are several advantages. First I believe the best form would be like an oil rig, standing on the ocean floor and high above the highest ocean waves. I believe you need a stable platform, not a floating one. Pipe fuel, power etc. on ocean floor. Dig a channel next to the hill they made for the HIF for a boat/barge to carry the rocket to the launch pad. Extend the HIF crane rails out over the channel so the rocket (and TEL?) can be lowered on to the barge. This would be far cheaper than even a short causeway. Doesn't require driving hundreds of piles or otherwise trying to stabilize the land for the launch pad and causeway to it as originally envisioned. Modify a used oil rig and I think this would be cheaper and quicker than the land version.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/25/2017 02:48 AM
So, I figure I will add my own speculation: For a long time I thought that the off-shore launch platform was a silly idea, but the more I think about it there are several advantages.
That was my thought process as well.  I first heard of the offshore idea from reddit, and was highly skeptical.  But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

Dig a channel next to the hill they made for the HIF for a boat/barge to carry the rocket to the launch pad.
Seems unlikely.

The whole area around the hill is environmentally protected wetlands.  Digging a sea channel into that area would probably upset the nesting area for sea turtles, which are an endangered species.  Note that the phrase "sea turtle" occurs 96 times in the EIS.

Also, it's a public beach, and there are state laws against developing public beaches into seaports.

If they end up with an offshore pad, I think they'll relocate the HIF and payload processing facilities along the Brownsville seaport.  Note that the Port of Brownsville already handles aircraft carriers, huge container ships, and oil drilling rigs, so BFR would be no problem.

The Brownsville seaport is just a few miles from Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/25/2017 03:17 AM
 I'm not sure why people think this seabed would be any easier to build on than land is. It's the same stuff for miles out and you're not going to dry it out with some weight on top. Anything sitting on this muck out at sea is going to have ten times the problems with settling and shifting and will be more than ten times as hard to build on. Keeping it supplied and maintained will be far more difficult and expensive than a land site. Instead of a $100 million spaceport you're talking about a billion at least. There's not even close as any such thing as a surplus oil platform that's going to handle a BFR launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/25/2017 05:22 AM
I'm not sure why people think this seabed would be any easier to build on than land is. It's the same stuff for miles out and you're not going to dry it out with some weight on top. Anything sitting on this muck out at sea is going to have ten times the problems with settling and shifting and will be more than ten times as hard to build on. Keeping it supplied and maintained will be far more difficult and expensive than a land site.Instead of a $100 million spaceport you're talking about a billion at least. There's not even close as any such thing as a surplus oil platform that's going to handle a BFR launch.

The upsides are A) distance from population, and B) not right in the middle of protected marshland.

Everything else, as you say, is the same or a bit worse.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/25/2017 05:28 AM
As for all the people looking for conspiracy theories as to why SpaceX hasn't started building yet...

It's right there in plain view:  AMOS-6 happened, and they were busy with the Florida pads. 

That's all.

A pad costs about the same as the revenue from 1-2 flights.  The BC pad would be private, something they don't currently have.  It's a no brainer to build it.

If BFR will fly first from BC, that's awesome - but just makes building the Falcon pad even cheaper, since it will become a marginal cost in a larger project.

If BFR will fly first from Florida, then 39A will be down for a while, and the need for a falcon pad in BC becomes more acute.

So I expect to see construction crews in BC early in 2018.

I'm also hoping to hear about BFR pad plans.  If in BC, my money is on an off-shore platform, but with low confidence...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/25/2017 07:00 AM
As for all the people looking for conspiracy theories as to why SpaceX hasn't started building yet...

It's right there in plain view:  AMOS-6 happened, and they were busy with the Florida pads. 

That's all.

A pad costs about the same as the revenue from 1-2 flights.  The BC pad would be private, something they don't currently have.  It's a no brainer to build it.

If BFR will fly first from BC, that's awesome - but just makes building the Falcon pad even cheaper, since it will become a marginal cost in a larger project.

If BFR will fly first from Florida, then 39A will be down for a while, and the need for a falcon pad in BC becomes more acute.

So I expect to see construction crews in BC early in 2018.

I'm also hoping to hear about BFR pad plans.  If in BC, my money is on an off-shore platform, but with low confidence...

This guy gets it early 2018 it is folks where nearly there
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/25/2017 07:16 AM
It seems like most of the discussion on this thread has been about things other than the SpaceX Texas launch site.  Mostly because there hasn't been any direct activity on the launch site in over a year.  There has been work on Stargate, the tracking antennas and a warehouse for crane parts.  Also the highway has been widened and utility conduits have been laid along the road.  I'm just curious -- has there been any construction activity at all in 2017 on the control center, HIF or the launch pad?

No work In 5 years give er a take but yeah 1 year not much of anything except for the crane house and the antennas. SpaceX only has a few workers out there they need the Florida crew to come over, we can see some of us really want to see Contruction and so does the county judge like SpaceX said in recent articles stating 2018 will be the year which I still believe.  I’m not rushing them to come over to BC but still just waiting patiently and confident they’ll be here in 2018.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/25/2017 12:54 PM
I'm not sure why people think this seabed would be any easier to build on than land is.

An offshore platform would be more expensive, no question.

The question is: Will the Federal Aviation Administration allow BFR to launch from Boca Chica Beach?

If SpaceX is interested in this option, it seems to me like they would have already asked the FAA to start the approval process, since that could take years to finalize.  As part of the approval process, the FAA is required to include a public comment period. So far, we haven't seen a public comment period for this.

I'm not sure why people think this seabed would be any easier to build on than land is. It's the same stuff for miles out and you're not going to dry it out with some weight on top. Anything sitting on this muck out at sea is going to have ten times the problems with settling and shifting and will be more than ten times as hard to build on.
Assuming SpaceX still wants to launch F9 from Boca Chica Beach, how are they going to stabilize the launch pad there? There's no mound in that area, so the ground underneath is still very wet.  Previous discussions up-thread have speculated they'll need to install legs hundreds of feet deep to stabilize the launch pad in it's current location.

With an offshore pad in 72 feet of water, the legs would need to be 72 feet longer.  Would drilling the holes for the legs be a lot harder? Not my area of expertise.

Instead of a $100 million spaceport you're talking about a billion at least.
Not sure it would be that much more.

To be clear, we're talking about a launch site that's mainly on land, with a relatively small offshore pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/25/2017 01:33 PM
It seems like most of the discussion on this thread has been about things other than the SpaceX Texas launch site.
In September, Elon announced they would be phasing out their current Falcon 9 based rockets.  They now intend to use BFR for launching satellites and servicing the space station.

In addition, at Stanford, Gwynne said "Boca Chica is perfect for BFR".

In my mind, these 2 announcements question our previous understanding of the "Texas launch site".  Specifically:
• With 3 existing Falcon 9 launch pads, and with Falcon 9 being phased out, do they need a 4th pad for F9?
• Will the FAA allow BFR to launch from Boca Chica Beach.

There has been work on Stargate, the tracking antennas and a warehouse for crane parts.
Stargate stands for Spacecraft Tracking and Astronomical Research into Gigahertz Astrophysical Transient Emission. Note the "Astronomical Research" part of the acronym.  In fact, the university department that runs Stargate was involved in the recent discovery of gravitational waves (http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/about-utrgv/news/press-releases/2016/february-11-gravitational-waves-detected-100-years-after-einsteins-prediction/index.htm). So they have plenty to do at Boca Chica even if the Texas launch site is delayed for years.

The 2 antenna dishes were installed for commercial crew launches from Florida.  These will track Crew Dragon in orbit.

The fact that they're building a long-term structure to house the crane could easily be interpreted as a change in direction for Texas launch site.

To be clear, I'd like nothing more than to see Falcon 9 flying from Boca Chica this time next year.  That would be awesome.  But I'm also trying to interpret the signs from SpaceX, and recently the signs for a Texas launch site seem unclear.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 12/25/2017 02:31 PM
My guess:
Boca Chica is perfect for testing of BFR.
Static fires
Suborbital hops.

I think the first orbital launch of the complete system will lc-39a because of sound limits.
Also the near term reason for BFR is the launch of the LEO communication satellites which require a launch azimuth which is not compatible with Boca Chica.

So beyond testing of BFR they will need to get a waver to launch to high inclination orbits. This may never happen.
Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/25/2017 02:39 PM
I might point out that even though, yes, SpaceX does now have two operational pads in FL, 39A has some special hardware, and with the advent of Crew, will have even more. I would think that SpaceX would not want to put that pad at risk unless it’s required for FH / Crew for the foreseeable future. This means for all intents and purposes they only have one pad on the east coast for the bulk of a huge and growing manifest. Building BC to augment that pad seems like a natural next step. Especially when the cost of building it is relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of the assets flying out of it and elsewhere.

SpaceX has learned tremendous lessons from pad development recently and have proven their ability to not only apply those lessons, but to take advantage of the opportunity and evolve the system further.

All this points to a mature and experienced pad development crew - and one that can move (and coordinate with contractors) at a rapid pace when the time comes.

So, all that said, my personal prediction is that real BC construction efforts will begin in April 2018...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 12/25/2017 03:06 PM
Agree that BC construction will happen soon, and will be to support both Falcon variants from the beginning.  The phasing out of F9/FH is overblown IMO, and also maybe in GS's view -- she said that the upgraded LC-40 pad would serve that family for next 10-20 years.

Boca Chica gives a degree of flexibility and leverage which the two pads at the Cape cannot supply.  This will increase in value as the flight rate from all companies at the Cape rises and throttles range availability.

The Texas facility also provides a proving ground for BFS and a future BFR launch facility which the Cape could stifle for political reasons.  The withdrawal of LC-39B from 'multi-use' status is such a move -- dictated, not negotiated.

Just as having a second pad at the Cape saved 2017 for them, having the robustness of a private pad in Texas will be beneficial down the road.
Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/25/2017 03:12 PM
Plus I might add that when you have two pads in basically the same location, both are under the same constraints when it comes to range availability and weather. Not desirable with such aggressive flight plans. Having a pad in a completely different state, experiencing different weather patterns and range issues - yet able to support the bulk of the same manifests, seems like smart money...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 12/25/2017 03:21 PM
Plus I might add that when you have two pads in basically the same location, both are under the same constraints when it comes to range availability and weather. Not desirable with such aggressive flight plans. Having a pad in a completely different state, experiencing different weather patterns and range issues - yet able to support the bulk of the same manifests, seems like smart money...

Yup. 
Only reason it isn't well along in construction is a bit of 'remodeling' they needed to do on LC-40.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/25/2017 03:44 PM

I'm not sure why people think this seabed would be any easier to build on than land is. It's the same stuff for miles out and you're not going to dry it out with some weight on top. Anything sitting on this muck out at sea is going to have ten times the problems with settling and shifting and will be more than ten times as hard to build on.
Assuming SpaceX still wants to launch F9 from Boca Chica Beach, how are they going to stabilize the launch pad there? There's no mound in that area, so the ground underneath is still very wet.  Previous discussions up-thread have speculated they'll need to install legs hundreds of feet deep to stabilize the launch pad in it's current location.

With an offshore pad in 72 feet of water, the legs would need to be 72 feet longer.  Would drilling the holes for the legs be a lot harder? Not my area of expertise.

The land where the pad is penciled in is dry with 4 to 8 foot dunes covering it. The warehouse mound site was swamp. And a giant chunk of concrete the pad will be is a different matter than a relatively thin warehouse foundation. The concrete might act as the surcharging mound, it might not need surcharging or they might sink 200 big piles.
 
 An ocean pad launching almost 5,000 tons of rocket isn't something you can pick up at the surplus store and isn't something that will be easy to mount to a sea floor that's sedimentary muck for a thousand feet down. And, all offshore construction is ridiculously expensive compared to onshore. I think a billion is a very conservative estimate.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kansan52 on 12/25/2017 04:19 PM
Is there any reason why the launch site can't be built to handle F9, FH, and BFR?

Flame trench built to handle a BFR. The launch mount able to handle Reaction table and BFR launch/landing mount.

Hmm,  launch/landing mount, LLM?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/25/2017 04:43 PM
Is there any reason why the launch site can't be built to handle F9, FH, and BFR?

Flame trench built to handle a BFR. The launch mount able to handle Reaction table and BFR launch/landing mount.

Hmm,  launch/landing mount, LLM?
Every time I try to type something, I realize it's a lot more complicated than I realized. It's the whole "We figured a Heavy would just be strapping 3 F9s together" thing again. It might turn out that just having two different launch points and flame trenches would be a lot easier and cheaper.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Wolfram66 on 12/25/2017 04:45 PM
I'm not sure why people think this seabed would be any easier to build on than land is. It's the same stuff for miles out and you're not going to dry it out with some weight on top. Anything sitting on this muck out at sea is going to have ten times the problems with settling and shifting and will be more than ten times as hard to build on. Keeping it supplied and maintained will be far more difficult and expensive than a land site. Instead of a $100 million spaceport you're talking about a billion at least. There's not even close as any such thing as a surplus oil platform that's going to handle a BFR launch.

Not to mention what the vibration effects on the gumbo of the gulf will be.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/25/2017 04:46 PM
Is there any reason why the launch site can't be built to handle F9, FH, and BFR?

The current EIS doesn't allow it.

Yes, they could ask the FAA for additional approvals to do this, but that process could take years to finalize. 

Also, as part of the approval process, the FAA is required to include a public comment period. Since we haven't seen a public comment period for additional approvals, this suggests that SpaceX has not asked for FAA approval to launch BFR from Boca Chica Beach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 12/25/2017 05:20 PM
Get the site up and running, and allow the benefits of the commerce and publicity begin to flow.  Will be a much more amenable environment to amend the EIS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/25/2017 05:31 PM
It might turn out that just having two different launch points and flame trenches would be a lot easier and cheaper.

If they allow it.

In 2015, SpaceX requested to increase the amount of soil needed to stabilize the launch area.  This additional request came after the final EIS, and was submitted through the Army Corps of Engineers (http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Media/Public-Notices/Article/480696/swg-2012-00381-spacex-launch-facility-cameron-county/).  There was a public notice (https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2094591/spacex-public-notice.pdf) and comment period, after which they removed the project plans from their web site (http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Portals/26/docs/regulatory/PN%20May/SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Project_Plan_Drawings_042215.pdf).

I hadn't expected them to remove the documents, so I didn't download a copy.  I keep regretting that. But I did read the document. It discussed agreements where SpaceX promises not to develop certain areas of those wetlands in exchange for allowing them to use more soil surcharge in the mound.

A local news article (http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/spacex-requests-more-wetlands-covered-for-rocket-launch-site-public/article_6dfe84de-0de6-11e5-a61d-930f216a22ef.html) also reported on these new wetlands mitigation agreements.
Quote from: The Monitor article by Kristen Mosbrucker
While a permit was issued for 3.3 acres of water to be covered in Sept 2014, the newest project design requires an additional 2.13 acres of wetlands for the launch site.

If approved, the total direct impact for the immediate environment stretches to 5.43 acres. In exchange, the company was also required to preserve 50-acres of high quality tidal flats, or wetlands as part of its environmental mitigation efforts. Now if permitted, the company would have to compensate with 54-acres of land preserved.

This is another reason that makes me skeptical BFR will be allowed to launch from Boca Chica Beach.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: dorkmo on 12/25/2017 05:36 PM
Maybe they need something like one of these, but purpose built for bfr of course

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prelude_FLNG
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 12/25/2017 08:30 PM

I'm not sure why people think this seabed would be any easier to build on than land is. It's the same stuff for miles out and you're not going to dry it out with some weight on top. Anything sitting on this muck out at sea is going to have ten times the problems with settling and shifting and will be more than ten times as hard to build on.
Assuming SpaceX still wants to launch F9 from Boca Chica Beach, how are they going to stabilize the launch pad there? There's no mound in that area, so the ground underneath is still very wet.  Previous discussions up-thread have speculated they'll need to install legs hundreds of feet deep to stabilize the launch pad in it's current location.

With an offshore pad in 72 feet of water, the legs would need to be 72 feet longer.  Would drilling the holes for the legs be a lot harder? Not my area of expertise.

The land where the pad is penciled in is dry with 4 to 8 foot dunes covering it. The warehouse mound site was swamp. And a giant chunk of concrete the pad will be is a different matter than a relatively thin warehouse foundation. The concrete might act as the surcharging mound, it might not need surcharging or they might sink 200 big piles.
 
 An ocean pad launching almost 5,000 tons of rocket isn't something you can pick up at the surplus store and isn't something that will be easy to mount to a sea floor that's sedimentary muck for a thousand feet down. And, all offshore construction is ridiculously expensive compared to onshore. I think a billion is a very conservative estimate.

The problem with oil rigs modified to become a rocket platform is that I don't think their construction is rated to handle anything near the several thousand tonnes mass of a BFR based on reading the oil rig costs & specs paper posted here a couple days ago. Even though I think SpaceX will NEED to go offshore with BFR at Boca because of environmental, etc. regulations, I do think it could cost almost half a gigabuck for a platform. Not good.  So if this is unaffordable, BC may revert to a F9 family site insuring against loss of 39A access because of 39A BFR upgrades,

Add that platform cost to the list of reasons PTP is not economically feasible.  Too much capital investment especially since the ocean is not as shallow etc. around major cities as it is around BC and Cape Canaveral.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: joesmith on 12/25/2017 09:58 PM
The Texas facility also provides a proving ground for BFS and a future BFR launch facility which the Cape could stifle for political reasons.
end quote:::
A very valid point indeed. And could even be expanded on in another thread.,,,,, politics' is the ghost in the room..
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/25/2017 10:59 PM
The Texas facility also provides a proving ground for BFS and a future BFR launch facility which the Cape could stifle for political reasons.
end quote:::
A very valid point indeed. And could even be expanded on in another thread.,,,,, politics' is the ghost in the room..
There's already another thread topic "Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?"
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44168.0;all
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: JoerTex on 12/26/2017 02:01 PM

I'm not sure why people think this seabed would be any easier to build on than land is. It's the same stuff for miles out and you're not going to dry it out with some weight on top. Anything sitting on this muck out at sea is going to have ten times the problems with settling and shifting and will be more than ten times as hard to build on.
Assuming SpaceX still wants to launch F9 from Boca Chica Beach, how are they going to stabilize the launch pad there? There's no mound in that area, so the ground underneath is still very wet.  Previous discussions up-thread have speculated they'll need to install legs hundreds of feet deep to stabilize the launch pad in it's current location.

With an offshore pad in 72 feet of water, the legs would need to be 72 feet longer.  Would drilling the holes for the legs be a lot harder? Not my area of expertise.

The land where the pad is penciled in is dry with 4 to 8 foot dunes covering it. The warehouse mound site was swamp. And a giant chunk of concrete the pad will be is a different matter than a relatively thin warehouse foundation. The concrete might act as the surcharging mound, it might not need surcharging or they might sink 200 big piles.
 
 An ocean pad launching almost 5,000 tons of rocket isn't something you can pick up at the surplus store and isn't something that will be easy to mount to a sea floor that's sedimentary muck for a thousand feet down. And, all offshore construction is ridiculously expensive compared to onshore. I think a billion is a very conservative estimate.

The problem with oil rigs modified to become a rocket platform is that I don't think their construction is rated to handle anything near the several thousand tonnes mass of a BFR based on reading the oil rig costs & specs paper posted here a couple days ago. Even though I think SpaceX will NEED to go offshore with BFR at Boca because of environmental, etc. regulations, I do think it could cost almost half a gigabuck for a platform. Not good.  So if this is unaffordable, BC may revert to a F9 family site insuring against loss of 39A access because of 39A BFR upgrades,

Add that platform cost to the list of reasons PTP is not economically feasible.  Too much capital investment especially since the ocean is not as shallow etc. around major cities as it is around BC and Cape Canaveral.

Based on my experience from 1980s I agree with these opinions.  The prices for some deep oil platforms then was $250M.  The geology is not 'friendly', the weather is not 'friendly', and maintenance is continual.

But, shore launches are extremely disruptive.  Just the sonic booms at landings will become a concern.

Heavy is much less an issue than BFS/BFR.  Nomad may really have a great place to watch launch parties.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Tony Whitehead on 12/26/2017 04:28 PM
My older brother and his wife are traveling through South Texas and sent me these pictures from Boca Chica this morning.  Merry Christmas!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/26/2017 08:23 PM
:’(
Contruction where are you. :(
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/26/2017 08:45 PM
:’(
Contruction where are you. :(
Just for clarity - are you sad that there IS construction or that there ISN’T?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/26/2017 11:30 PM
:’(
Contruction where are you. :(
Just for clarity - are you sad that there IS construction or that there ISN’T?
You can say that yes it’s not really bad, Honestly about the overall complex yes. ISN'T.  Thanks for asking.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/27/2017 04:25 AM
Get the site up and running, and allow the benefits of the commerce and publicity begin to flow.  Will be a much more amenable environment to amend the EIS.

Yes and no.

Yes, once they start launching from Boca Chica, I believe the local population will be more amenable to allowing SpaceX amend the EIS.

No, I don't think the Federal Aviation Administration and Army Corp of Engineers will be more amenable to breaking federal regulations once they start launching from Boca Chica. 

To be clear, if the Feds say something isn't kosher (e.g. sound pressure levels, wetlands mitigation, sea turtles, etc.), the local population has absolutely no say in the matter. 

Similarly, if the Texas state legislature says something isn't kosher (e.g. modifying state laws for public beach closures), again, the local population has absolutely no say in the matter.

If the Federal and State government says something is OK, then the local population may still be able to nix it, if there's sufficient opposition, and the opposition has a reasonable argument against it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/27/2017 04:38 AM
Get the site up and running, and allow the benefits of the commerce and publicity begin to flow.  Will be a much more amenable environment to amend the EIS.

Yes and no.

Yes, once they start launching from Boca Chica, I believe the local population will be more amenable to allowing SpaceX amend the EIS.

No, I don't think the Federal Aviation Administration and Army Corp of Engineers will be more amenable to breaking federal regulations once they start launching from Boca Chica. 

To be clear, if the Feds say something isn't kosher (e.g. sound pressure levels, wetlands mitigation, sea turtles, etc.), the local population has absolutely no say in the matter. 

Similarly, if the Texas state legislature says something isn't kosher (e.g. modifying state laws for public beach closures), again, the local population has absolutely no say in the matter.

If the Federal and State government says something is OK, then the local population may still be able to nix it, if there's sufficient opposition, and the opposition has a reasonable argument against it.
The fed situation is actually a pretty good reason it would be wise to get things going now instead of four years from now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 12/27/2017 12:19 PM
Next month (January) should tell the tale.  LC-40 is operating; FH should roll out any day.  Pad builders are getting well-deserved holiday break.  If ramping up does not begin soon after Jan 1, I'd start worrying. 
Till then, enjoy the holidays.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 12/27/2017 05:16 PM
Let us not forget the one fact that is staring us in the face... in plain sight...  ;)

The monster crane pieces stayed in BC... and even got a nice 'barn' to live in for the time being...

So what does that tell us...
1) That crane is a one off (we think) special build just for SpaceX's needs...
2) It still has value to SpaceX... as it was not sold or scrapped...
3) Value great enough to get a storage barn and not just tarped and left to need later fixing up...
4) and Again... It's still in BC...

That said... I agree with the notion we better see some construction action in the 1st quarter 2018 or we start getting concerned that plans have drastically changed...  :-\
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/27/2017 10:34 PM
Let us not forget the one fact that is staring us in the face... in plain sight...  ;)

The monster crane pieces stayed in BC... and even got a nice 'barn' to live in for the time being...

So what does that tell us...
1) That crane is a one off (we think) special build just for SpaceX's needs...
2) It still has value to SpaceX... as it was not sold or scrapped...
3) Value great enough to get a storage barn and not just tarped and left to need later fixing up...
4) and Again... It's still in BC...
Right. The structure that houses the crane is definately puzzling.

Some have speculated that it may serve some other purpose in the future, but the smallest building specificed in the EIS is 3 times the size of the crane shed, so that seems improbable.

If they're planning to complete constrution in 2018, why build such a sturdy, long term structure just to house the crane?

And if BFR changed their plans for the launch site, causing a significant delay, then why is the crane still there?  Did SpaceX purchace the crane outright? Is it some type of long-term lease that's really hard to get out of?

That said... I agree with the notion we better see some construction action in the 1st quarter 2018 or we start getting concerned that plans have drastically changed...  :-\
Agreed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: deruch on 12/28/2017 09:07 AM
Next month (January) should tell the tale.  LC-40 is operating; FH should roll out any day.  Pad builders are getting well-deserved holiday break.  If ramping up does not begin soon after Jan 1, I'd start worrying. 
Till then, enjoy the holidays.

Don't be too disheartened if they take a little detour to VAFB first.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41060.msg1756785#msg1756785
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kansan52 on 12/28/2017 05:57 PM
Check me on this. BC does not need the pad people until the earthwork is finished. There will be a large amount of reducing the 'pile' and earthwork for the launch site before any need of launch pad workers, possibly months.

Earlier posts suggested that the extra dirt used for settling the 'pile' will be used for the work to prepare the launch trench and other lunch pad structure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/28/2017 06:45 PM
Check me on this. BC does not need the pad people until the earthwork is finished. There will be a large amount of reducing the 'pile' and earthwork for the launch site before any need of launch pad workers, possibly months.

Earlier posts suggested that the extra dirt used for settling the 'pile' will be used for the work to prepare the launch trench and other lunch pad structure.

Here's the latest plan for the launch site. This is from May 2015, significantly after the final EIS, and includes the extra soil surcharge amount that's now in the mound.

This was submitted through the Army Corps of Engineers (http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Media/Public-Notices/Article/480696/swg-2012-00381-spacex-launch-facility-cameron-county/).  There was a public notice (https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2094591/spacex-public-notice.pdf) and comment period, after which they removed the project plans from their web site (http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/Portals/26/docs/regulatory/PN%20May/SpaceX_Texas_Launch_Project_Plan_Drawings_042215.pdf).  However, a local news article (http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/spacex-requests-more-wetlands-covered-for-rocket-launch-site-public/article_6dfe84de-0de6-11e5-a61d-930f216a22ef.html) reported the highlights of these new plans, including the new launch site plan diagram attached below.

Looking at the diagram, it seems the vast majority of the earthworks is to the West (left), of the launch pad.

In other words, it looks like they could start the pad construction well before the earthworks is finished.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/28/2017 06:47 PM
 It's hard to say because nobody who can talk really knows how the pad would go. It would probably be the real time consumer and might not be that much dirt work if it's mostly lots of big pilings and concrete. It could be the entire site design is wrong for BFR.
 From talking to both Tesla and SpaceX people, it's obvious that they're tighter with information than in the past. There's a chance that site decisions aren't even set at the top levels yet. There could be a lot of methane rocket design factors still to be made that would impact site design.
 I'm a little surprised they aren't being more agressive in buying up property. Putting the whole rest of the island into protected status and increasing enforcement of things like anti idiots tearing up the sand dune laws would make a case for increasing their footprint here.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/28/2017 06:52 PM
If SpaceX backs out of BC, are they still on the hook at all for the creation of the 54 acres of protected wetlands?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/28/2017 07:03 PM
A multi-use pad makes sense. Design for the biggest (BFR+BFS), then use something like milkstools to compensate with a nested launcher (for BFS only test flights, and F9 manifest workdown)

(https://history.nasa.gov/SP-4208/p249.jpg)

That's why the FH is the "odd man out".

As to methane/kero/lox, that's a minimal issue. Your tankage/feeds/flows are minimal if it's mostly a development pad that becomes operational for F9 flights. Your kero is a minor inconvenience.

(In this case, you'd not use a TEL but a crane to lift into place.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/28/2017 07:59 PM
I'm a little surprised they aren't being more aggressive in buying up property...
Right.

I've been checking the online Cameron County real estate data base (http://propaccess.cameroncad.org/clientdb/?cid=1) regularly, and according to this site, SpaceX hasn't purchased any new property in Boca Chica for quite some time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/28/2017 08:21 PM
If SpaceX backs out of BC, are they still on the hook at all for the creation of the 54 acres of protected wetlands?

I seriously doubt SpaceX will back out of Boca Chica altogether.  I really think they want a private launch site.

Worst case, they'll scrap plans for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and use an offshore pad for BFR.

But even then, they'll still need a lot of onshore facilities, e.g. control center buildings, antennas for tracking, hangars, payload processing buildings, propellant tanks, etc., etc.

A multi-use pad makes sense. Design for the biggest (BFR+BFS), then use something like milkstools to compensate with a nested launcher (for BFS only test flights, and F9 manifest workdown)

If there were no issues with approvals, I would agree.

But in reality, the situation at Boca Chica Beach seems somewhat tenuous (e.g. sound pressure levels in Boca Chica Village, wetlands mitigation, endangered species, Texas state beach closure laws, etc. 

Getting approvals for a huge new untested rocket at Boca Chica Beach may not be easy.

What's more, such approvals would require a public comment period, and we haven't seen that yet, which probably means SpaceX hasn't yet requested it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ClayJar on 12/28/2017 08:51 PM
What's more, such approvals would require a public comment period, and we haven't seen that yet, which probably means SpaceX hasn't yet requested it.

Would there be much point in requesting approvals (with the requisite public comment period) when SpaceX is still designing the rocket?  Until they reach a design of sufficient stability, any requests would seem almost certainly premature.  Once the design starts settling out and they have higher confidence in what BFR, et al, will end up being and what facilities they will end up needing, that would seem a more appropriate time to start the usual paperwork.

The key, of course, is to start the paperwork soon enough that it doesn't end up causing significant delays but also late enough that required changes don't end up causing significant delays.  We just need SpaceX to finalize the design and start bending metal and laying fiber so we can know what we're actually talking about.  I mean, hey, it's practically 2018 already. ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 12/28/2017 11:09 PM
I would assume that permits for BFS tests will be quite easy and fast as it is well below FH thrust with noise in the permitted range. Assuming barge landing.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 12/28/2017 11:15 PM
Also a methalox rocket should produce less air and ground pollution than a PR1 propelled one. Well in terms of soot and residuals, I don't know about NOx levels.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/28/2017 11:17 PM
http://www.themonitor.com/opinion/article_6c0e0488-ebdd-11e7-ba54-8bdff4661454.html

Some state and local officials still agree this Project is happening with the tracking attentneas tracking manned flights and the FH launching in January 2018.  This state Rep. is happy of what he’s seeing in the RGV.  And SpaceX has hired some locals and contractors around the RGV.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: John Alan on 12/28/2017 11:22 PM
Also a methalox rocket should produce less air and ground pollution than a PR1 propelled one. Well in terms of soot and residuals, I don't know about NOx levels.

NOx is only an issue for air breathing combustion... Which is not the case with only LOX involved...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 12/28/2017 11:33 PM
Thanks! I was thinking it was a temperature thing, so maybe some NOx from secondary burning in a fuel rich exhaust... but yeah no NOx from primary combustion if there is no nitrogen to start with!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/28/2017 11:39 PM
Would there be much point in requesting approvals (with the requisite public comment period) when SpaceX is still designing the rocket?
What makes you think SpaceX is still designing BFR?

Elon's statements in September seem to indicate that they're much further along:
Quote from: Elon Musk
So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built. We will start construction of the first ship around the second quarter of next year...
http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-34
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/28/2017 11:52 PM
Also a methalox rocket should produce less air and ground pollution than a PR1 propelled one. Well in terms of soot and residuals, I don't know about NOx levels.

NOx is only an issue for air breathing combustion... Which is not the case with only LOX involved...  ;)
But on Raptor post Pre-Burner both fuel and oxidizer are in the fully gaseous state.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 12/29/2017 12:14 AM
But on Raptor post Pre-Burner both fuel and oxidizer are in the fully gaseous state.

I mean air as in the atmosphere rather than air as a shorthand for a gas. Least I think that is why I can't follow what you are trying to say.

Although I was talking about the environmental impact reports to start with I can feel the mods getting twitchy, we're getting far away from pad construction again.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: aero on 12/29/2017 01:18 AM
Can't make Nox unless you include nitrogen in the propellant. The Earth's atmosphere is mostly nitrogen, hence air breathers can make Nox. Rocket propellant doesn't include nitrogen, therefore, no Nox.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/29/2017 01:23 AM
 The real reason that SpaceX has no choice but to launch Falcons from Boca Chica is that I want to see this out my living room window.
 https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=44376.0;attach=1467754;sess=1145

 *Thanks to HeloDriver*
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rcoppola on 12/29/2017 10:33 PM
BC will not see any BFR action for many years if at all. Everything BFR/BFS will start and stop with KSC/Cape.

BC will remain a very, very slow burn. Until it isn't.

I.M.O.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Grandpa to Two on 12/30/2017 12:52 AM
I’m not so sure Boca Chica will sit as is for much longer. After the RUD at pad 40, SpaceX was very lucky they could bring 39A up to launch ready to carry the load while it took most of a year to do an extensive rebuild on 40. That situation had to have SpaceX top brass thinking what could happen again in the future not with pad 40 but at 39A. If an on pad RUD or a few seconds after liftoff RUD (as happened to Antares) were to occur what options would they have to continue launching Falcon Heavy or within the next few years crew flights on Falcon 9? Probably fairly quickly pad 40 could be utilized for launching crew Dragons to the ISS but the Heavy couldn’t launch anywhere from the east coast. That’s why I believe SpaceX needs to start working at BC fairly quickly. Likely once the finishing touches are completed at KSC and Vandenburg. Perhaps even during the final upgrades.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: su27k on 12/30/2017 01:07 AM
I’m not so sure Boca Chica will sit as is for much longer. After the RUD at pad 40, SpaceX was very lucky they could bring 39A up to launch ready to carry the load while it took most of a year to do an extensive rebuild on 40. That situation had to have SpaceX top brass thinking what could happen again in the future not with pad 40 but at 39A. If an on pad RUD or a few seconds after liftoff RUD (as happened to Antares) were to occur what options would they have to continue launching Falcon Heavy or within the next few years crew flights on Falcon 9? Probably fairly quickly pad 40 could be utilized for launching crew Dragons to the ISS but the Heavy couldn’t launch anywhere from the east coast. That’s why I believe SpaceX needs to start working at BC fairly quickly. Likely once the finishing touches are completed at KSC and Vandenburg. Perhaps even during the final upgrades.

But there's not many FH flights on the manifest anyway, is it really worth it to build up BC just for a backup to one to two heavy every year? Also need to take into account that BC's flight trajectory is very narrow, it's basically useless for anything other than GTO, plus the fact that NSS missions just won't fly from BC, these all make me vote slow burn for BC as a F9/FH site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Elvis in Space on 12/30/2017 01:37 AM
I keep thinking that a lot of people have made plans for BC beyond anything Elon has in work right now. The progress being made is easier to understand in the context of launching a dozen GTO comsats a year.
Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/30/2017 02:39 AM
Just so I can sound like a broken record, I’ll give to very strong and compelling reasons for launching the Falcon family from BC, again:

- Range: don’t share same range constraints and conflicts that the two Florida pads share

- Weather: BC experiences different weather patterns than the Florida sites.

To spell it out for those needing it spelled out: a range conflict OR weather issue can shut BOTH 39A and 40. Different eggs, same basket. Not the case for BC.

And by the way - as has been mentioned before - Heavy really should be called Faster. Meaning, it can manifest high energy F9 payloads out of BC, even with dog legs, and still have reserve to recover the boosters.

Break out of your narrow thinking mould people. This ain’t your grandpa’s rocket company.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: octavo on 12/30/2017 03:35 AM
Just so I can sound like a broken record, I’ll give to very strong and compelling reasons for launching the Falcon family from BC, again:

- Range: don’t share same range constraints and conflicts that the two Florida pads share

- Weather: BC experiences different weather patterns than the Florida sites.

To spell it out for those needing it spelled out: a range conflict OR weather issue can shut BOTH 39A and 40. Different eggs, same basket. Not the case for BC.

And by the way - as has been mentioned before - Heavy really should be called Faster. Meaning, it can manifest high energy F9 payloads out of BC, even with dog legs, and still have reserve to recover the boosters.

Break out of your narrow thinking mould people. This ain’t your grandpa’s rocket company.
I'm not clear on how another pad, hundreds of miles away can help with range or weather problems? Unless you mean much longer delays like range maintenance or hurricane damage? Surely SpX wouldn't demate a payload and truck it to BC because of a three day scrub?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/30/2017 08:32 AM
Just so I can sound like a broken record, I’ll give to very strong and compelling reasons for launching the Falcon family from BC, again:

- Range: don’t share same range constraints and conflicts that the two Florida pads share

- Weather: BC experiences different weather patterns than the Florida sites.

To spell it out for those needing it spelled out: a range conflict OR weather issue can shut BOTH 39A and 40. Different eggs, same basket. Not the case for BC.

And by the way - as has been mentioned before - Heavy really should be called Faster. Meaning, it can manifest high energy F9 payloads out of BC, even with dog legs, and still have reserve to recover the boosters.

Break out of your narrow thinking mould people. This ain’t your grandpa’s rocket company.
I'm not clear on how another pad, hundreds of miles away can help with range or weather problems? Unless you mean much longer delays like range maintenance or hurricane damage? Surely SpX wouldn't demate a payload and truck it to BC because of a three day scrub?
Who’s going to be SpaceX’s largest individual consumer of launch services? Who will need to have a large number of launches on a monthly basis? Who will be launching many many copies of the same payload?

SpaceX
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: octavo on 12/30/2017 09:34 AM
Just so I can sound like a broken record, I’ll give to very strong and compelling reasons for launching the Falcon family from BC, again:

- Range: don’t share same range constraints and conflicts that the two Florida pads share

- Weather: BC experiences different weather patterns than the Florida sites.

To spell it out for those needing it spelled out: a range conflict OR weather issue can shut BOTH 39A and 40. Different eggs, same basket. Not the case for BC.

And by the way - as has been mentioned before - Heavy really should be called Faster. Meaning, it can manifest high energy F9 payloads out of BC, even with dog legs, and still have reserve to recover the boosters.

Break out of your narrow thinking mould people. This ain’t your grandpa’s rocket company.
I'm not clear on how another pad, hundreds of miles away can help with range or weather problems? Unless you mean much longer delays like range maintenance or hurricane damage? Surely SpX wouldn't demate a payload and truck it to BC because of a three day scrub?
Who’s going to be SpaceX’s largest individual consumer of launch services? Who will need to have a large number of launches on a monthly basis? Who will be launching many many copies of the same payload?

SpaceX
The only bit there that makes your point is the multiple copies of the same payload. I don't think a 3 or 4 day weather issue is going to cause them to launch a Falcon Heavy from BC instead. Maybe their ops will really be that agile, but I'm not so sure.

An extra pad for additional capacity/cadence, to mitigate range downtime and as insurance against a Florida pad taken out owing to storms or explosions, yes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/30/2017 12:27 PM
Just so I can sound like a broken record, I’ll give to very strong and compelling reasons for launching the Falcon family from BC...
Not sure what you mean here.

Looking at the official names, "the Falcon family" would seem to include:
• Falcon 9 (F9)
• Falcon Heavy (FH)
• Big Falcon Rocket (BFR)

Do you mean the entire Falcon family, or some part of it?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/30/2017 12:27 PM
Just so I can sound like a broken record, I’ll give to very strong and compelling reasons for launching the Falcon family from BC, again:

- Range: don’t share same range constraints and conflicts that the two Florida pads share

- Weather: BC experiences different weather patterns than the Florida sites.

To spell it out for those needing it spelled out: a range conflict OR weather issue can shut BOTH 39A and 40. Different eggs, same basket. Not the case for BC.

And by the way - as has been mentioned before - Heavy really should be called Faster. Meaning, it can manifest high energy F9 payloads out of BC, even with dog legs, and still have reserve to recover the boosters.

Break out of your narrow thinking mould people. This ain’t your grandpa’s rocket company.
I'm not clear on how another pad, hundreds of miles away can help with range or weather problems? Unless you mean much longer delays like range maintenance or hurricane damage? Surely SpX wouldn't demate a payload and truck it to BC because of a three day scrub?
Who’s going to be SpaceX’s largest individual consumer of launch services? Who will need to have a large number of launches on a monthly basis? Who will be launching many many copies of the same payload?

SpaceX
The only bit there that makes your point is the multiple copies of the same payload. I don't think a 3 or 4 day weather issue is going to cause them to launch a Falcon Heavy from BC instead. Maybe their ops will really be that agile, but I'm not so sure.

An extra pad for additional capacity/cadence, to mitigate range downtime and as insurance against a Florida pad taken out owing to storms or explosions, yes.
If you're launching many times a month, you don't look at individual launches, but at expected launch rates around the year.

And for sure, the future will be dominated by "identical" launches...  Whether comsats, fuel, or people.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/30/2017 12:32 PM
If you're launching many times a month, you don't look at individual launches, but at expected launch rates around the year.

It's worth mentioning that many of the LC-40 upgrades were aimed at faster turn-around times.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/30/2017 12:33 PM
Just so I can sound like a broken record, I’ll give to very strong and compelling reasons for launching the Falcon family from BC...
Not sure what you mean here.

Looking at the official names, "the Falcon family" would seem to include:
• Falcon 9 (F9)
• Falcon Heavy (FH)
• Big Falcon Rocket (BFR)

Do you mean the entire Falcon family, or some part of it?
I can see your point. I am referring to just the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy.

I personally don’t put the word “Falcon” inside BFR. And when Elon changed the name to ITS there was no Falcon to be seen. And when it went BACK to BFR, I think Falcon had long flown the coop.

Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/30/2017 12:45 PM
Just so I can sound like a broken record, I’ll give to very strong and compelling reasons for launching the Falcon family from BC, again:

- Range: don’t share same range constraints and conflicts that the two Florida pads share

the Eastern Range has undergone significant modernization to support increased launch rates since SpaceX announced the BC site.

Quote
In total, more than 200 projects valued at $113 million will have been completed over the last three recap periods.

The NDAA 2018 also provides funds for more upgrades ( estimated to support up to 48 launches a year by 2023)

 http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/01/us-air-force-budget-uncertainty-threatens-cape-canaveral-florida-rocket-launch-rate-nasa-spacex-ula/902868001/


Quote
- Weather: BC experiences different weather patterns than the Florida sites.

You can't just move a payload to another launch site quickly enough to switch based on weather.

BC is an expensive answer to a problem that is being increasingly mitigated by other means (range modernization, rapid pad turnaround times, increased Cape Processing infrastructure). Does it warrant the huge costs needed to establish an entire new spaceport from scratch (launch pad, tracking station, Launch control center, payload processing ect)? It increasingly looks less and less appealing.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/30/2017 01:03 PM
Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...
Yes, the origins of the name were made clear in Musk's GQ interview (https://www.gq.com/story/elon-musk-mars-spacex-tesla-interview).  But now the term "Big Falcon Rocket" is being used increasingly, especially in communications with government agencies.

Break out of your narrow thinking mould people. This ain’t your grandpa’s rocket company.

This could be interpreted many ways. One way would be that SpaceX is comfortable taking risks.

One of those risks may be to stop all production of F9/FH, and concentrate fully on BFR, which is exactly what Musk said they'll do.  Given that they plan to phase out F9/FH, and that world demand for GTO launches is down, they may take the risk of trying to squeeze more F9/FH launches into their existing 3 pads, and go stright to BFR at Boca Chica.

As you say, there are risks with this approach.  Weather and range issues make both Florid pads unavailable.  But SpaceX may be comfortable taking those risks, especially if they think they can get BFR working in less than 5 years.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/30/2017 01:17 PM
BC is an expensive answer to a problem that is being increasingly mitigated by other means (range modernization, rapid pad turnaround times, increased Cape Processing infrastructure). Does it warrant the huge costs needed to establish an entire new spaceport from scratch (launch pad, tracking station, Launch control center, payload processing ect)? It increasingly looks less and less appealing.

I doubt SpaceX will pull out of Boca Chica altogether.  I really believe SpaceX wants a private launch site.  At Stanford, Gwynne said "Boca Chica is perfect for BFR".

Also, the cost of building in Boca Chica doesn't appear to be huge.  Labor rates are very low.  Real estate is dirt cheap.  Cost of living one of the lowest in the country.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/30/2017 01:42 PM
I doubt SpaceX will pull out of Boca Chica altogether.  I really believe SpaceX wants a private launch site.  At Stanford, Gwynne said "Boca Chica is perfect for BFR".

Also, the cost of building in Boca Chica doesn't appear to be huge.  Labor rates are very low.  Real estate is dirt cheap.  Cost of living one of the lowest in the country.

SpceX will have a presence in Boca Chica regardless, as the tracking equipment will support Dragon crewed flights. Was refering to the Falcon launches per the reasons I listed above ( as well as the drop in GTO launches you mentioned above, BC is only suitable for geo launches)

SpaceX might still pursue BC for BFR testing, but it also depends on other launch sites. Gwenn is being smart, keeping options open while not committing to anything this early in development.

Lastly, while labor rates are low, it is still a HUGE upfront cost to reproduce all of the infrastructure needed to launch a satellite from scratch. All of it exists now in Florida (and a lot was either given or severely discounted for SpaceX), reproducing it and maintaining it will all be on SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: AncientU on 12/30/2017 02:44 PM
BC is an expensive answer to a problem that is being increasingly mitigated by other means (range modernization, rapid pad turnaround times, increased Cape Processing infrastructure). Does it warrant the huge costs needed to establish an entire new spaceport from scratch (launch pad, tracking station, Launch control center, payload processing ect)? It increasingly looks less and less appealing.

I doubt SpaceX will pull out of Boca Chica altogether.  I really believe SpaceX wants a private launch site.  At Stanford, Gwynne said "Boca Chica is perfect for BFR".

Also, the cost of building in Boca Chica doesn't appear to be huge.  Labor rates are very low.  Real estate is dirt cheap.  Cost of living one of the lowest in the country.

And the overhead of working at someone else's facility disappears.

$50M to rebuild LC-40 is a data point on what these facilities cost for SpaceX.  Double that at most for ground-up construction of a flame trench/pad/etc. for which they have considerable experience at McGregor and elsewhere.  HIFs are easy; utilities from a clean field start are simple, too.  I expect them to complete this site at a measured pace as an insurance policy for highly competitive/time sensitive constellation launches if nothing more.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 12/30/2017 02:57 PM
It seems to me, that the worth of BC is based on peoples perceptions of whether SpaceX will meet their Aspirational Goals as set by Elon... it one thinks it is going to be delayed, significantly, then yes. BC is a waste of resources, NOW... which resources could be better spent elsewhere...
However we have to think in terms of what SpaceX and Elon is thinking, not our own notions of what is going to happen.. good or bad...

In that light, we have to accept that what Elon said last September, is the actual goal for their launch of BFR/BFS to Mars... 2 Cargo ships in 2022, with the necessary refueling ships in LEO, and 2 Cargo and 2 Crew ships in 2024, with the necessary refueling ships in LEO... if continued production of Cargo and Crew Ships continues, as expected, then sooner than later, the existing pads are going to become insufficient...

Gwynne did say that BC was good for BFR/BFS so who are we to doubt that statement... 1 pad might be ok for 2022, and at a stretch, for 2024, but will 1 pad be enough by 2027/29.... or even before... when does pad insufficiency begin to impinge on SpaceX operations...

I'm of the opinion, that SpaceX thinks they will need BC operational for BFR/BFS by 2024, if not sooner... and they will begin ramping up construction, while they have experienced crew and as the money becomes available...

What comes after 2024 is anyone's guess... probably Elon isn't sure right now... he's just hoping his aspirations for 2022/24 are fulfilled and he will worry about it, as he get's closer to those two launches, 

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/30/2017 06:55 PM
However we have to think in terms of what SpaceX and Elon is thinking, not our own notions of what is going to happen.. good or bad...

In that light, we have to accept that what Elon said last September, is the actual goal for their launch of BFR/BFS to Mars... 2 Cargo ships in 2022, with the necessary refueling ships in LEO, and 2 Cargo and 2 Crew ships in 2024, with the necessary refueling ships in LEO...
Totally agree.

I believe Elon means everything he says, unless it's an obvious joke.  So if he says something, even if we don't quite agree with it, we still need to take it at face value.

if continued production of Cargo and Crew Ships continues, as expected, then sooner than later, the existing pads are going to become insufficient...

1 pad might be ok for 2022, and at a stretch, for 2024, but will 1 pad be enough by 2027/29.... or even before... when does pad insufficiency begin to impinge on SpaceX operations...

It all depends on the turn-around time.  If they can re-launch BFR from the same pad in 1 hour, then a single pad may be enough.  Remember that Elon's stated goal for BFR is "fully and rapidly reusable".
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jim on 12/30/2017 09:00 PM

Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...

BFR is a term as old as the space program.  Has nothing to do with games
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/30/2017 09:25 PM
BFR is a term as old as the space program.

I believe you.

But I also believe Elon's account of how he arrived at the name from his GQ magazine article 2 years ago:
https://www.gq.com/story/elon-musk-mars-spacex-tesla-interview
Quote from: Elon Musk
So, technically, it would be the BFR and the BFS." As in "Big frakking Spaceship."

Musk coined these names himself. "This is a very obtuse video-game reference," he tells me. "In the original Doom, the gun that was like the crazy gun was the BFG 9000 or something like that. So it was sort of named after the gun in Doom."

In other words, I believe it's entirely possible multiple people could have come to that particular name independently.  In Musk's case, it appears his arrival at this name was was influenced by a video game.

By the way, if anyone has experience developing video games, SpaceX may want to hire you.
They seem to value this highly.
http://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-spacex-at-a-video-game-conference-2015-3
https://www.fastcompany.com/3031512/why-spacex-and-other-non-gaming-companies-are-scouting-talent-at-e3
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: guckyfan on 12/30/2017 09:44 PM
Also, the cost of building in Boca Chica doesn't appear to be huge.  Labor rates are very low.  Real estate is dirt cheap.  Cost of living one of the lowest in the country.

There were data on cost in the local press. Boca Chica was initially estimated by SpaceX at $85 million. Over time estimates have climbed to ~$100 million, barely above inflation rate, I guess. Maybe a little more, given that the improved TEL design will cost more. That included the Control Center and satellite integration facilities.

Including BFS test launch capabilities will increase that but given that the thrust of BFS is smaller than FH it should not be too much more.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ThereIWas3 on 12/30/2017 09:56 PM
BO is building their rockets in Florida and clearly plans to launch from there.  I do not think SpaceX plans to build theirs in Florida.  WIth something as big as BFR, it makes sense to build them very close to the launch facility.  BC has room for a factory, is closer to the test facility, and is closer to Hawthorne, by a lot, compared to Florida.   With the rate they intend to be launching these things (and testing the engines, etc) it makes sense to make BC the primary launch location for BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 12/30/2017 10:06 PM

Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...

BFR is a term as old as the space program.  Has nothing to do with games


https://www.gq.com/story/elon-musk-mars-spacex-tesla-interview

Quote
Musk coined these names himself. "This is a very obtuse video-game reference," he tells me. "In the original Doom, the gun that was like the crazy gun was the BFG 9000 or something like that. So it was sort of named after the gun in Doom. But that's not its official name, of course."
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 12/30/2017 10:17 PM
BO is building their rockets in Florida and clearly plans to launch from there.  I do not think SpaceX plans to build theirs in Florida.  WIth something as big as BFR, it makes sense to build them very close to the launch facility.  BC has room for a factory, is closer to the test facility, and is closer to Hawthorne, by a lot, compared to Florida.   With the rate they intend to be launching these things (and testing the engines, etc) it makes sense to make BC the primary launch location for BFR.
SpaceX is looking at property across from blue origin's factory at the cape.  There's plenty of land there.
Title: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/30/2017 10:36 PM

Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...

BFR is a term as old as the space program.  Has nothing to do with games
I hate to say this Jim, but in this instance you are dead wrong. And believe it or not, this is a very good example of New Space vs Old Space. I know you won’t understand that, but that’s kinda the point. There’s a new reference frame happening. Do you see those kids in the control room at Hawthorne? Those are the new generation and we just have to accept that...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: aero on 12/30/2017 10:41 PM

Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...

BFR is a term as old as the space program.  Has nothing to do with games
I hate to say this Jim, but in this instance you are dead wrong. And believe it or not, this is a very good example of New Space vs Old Space. I know you won’t understand that, but that’s kinda the point. There’s a new reference frame happening. Do you see those kids in the control room at Hawthorne? Those are the new generation and we just have to accept that...

That doesn't change the fact that I and others have been using the term "BFR" for over 50 years to describe a very big rocket.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Comga on 12/30/2017 10:47 PM
It could be circular.
BF(X) is sort of in the general zeitgeist.
So much so that Roald Dahl made a game of it with his book "The B(ig) F(riendly) G(iant), turning it into something G rated
If Musk first heard of it in a video game as a description for a gun, then everyone is right.
BF(X) is common
BFR has been use for rockets since "big' was Redstone
Id called their big Doom gun BFG 9000.
Musk named SpaceX's BFR after the BFG 9000.

edit:  It's not a BFD  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/30/2017 10:49 PM

Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...

BFR is a term as old as the space program.  Has nothing to do with games
I hate to say this Jim, but in this instance you are dead wrong. And believe it or not, this is a very good example of New Space vs Old Space. I know you won’t understand that, but that’s kinda the point. There’s a new reference frame happening. Do you see those kids in the control room at Hawthorne? Those are the new generation and we just have to accept that...

That doesn't change the fact that I and others have been using the term "BFR" for over 50 years to describe a very big rocket.
Um, that’s fine. And good on ya! But Jim specifically said Elon Musk’s naming it the BFR had nothing to do with the game Doom, and that was what I was addressing.

If I’m not mistaken, Jim uses a one word response, so I am allowed the same courtesy.

Wrong
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 12/30/2017 11:27 PM

Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...

BFR is a term as old as the space program.  Has nothing to do with games
I hate to say this Jim, but in this instance you are dead wrong. And believe it or not, this is a very good example of New Space vs Old Space. I know you won’t understand that, but that’s kinda the point. There’s a new reference frame happening. Do you see those kids in the control room at Hawthorne? Those are the new generation and we just have to accept that...

That doesn't change the fact that I and others have been using the term "BFR" for over 50 years to describe a very big rocket.
Um, that’s fine. And good on ya! But Jim specifically said Elon Musk’s naming it the BFR had nothing to do with the game Doom, and that was what I was addressing.

If I’m not mistaken, Jim uses a one word response, so I am allowed the same courtesy.

Wrong
"that's a BFR" is clearly older than Musk.

But to tokenize it and use it as a proper noun?  Doom did it part way, and then Musk went out and called his rocket that, for reals.

Credit's due where credit's due.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Bob Shaw on 12/30/2017 11:54 PM

Elon is a gamer and it’s always been clear to me at least that his “BFR” was his homage to the game Doom...

BFR is a term as old as the space program.  Has nothing to do with games
I hate to say this Jim, but in this instance you are dead wrong. And believe it or not, this is a very good example of New Space vs Old Space. I know you won’t understand that, but that’s kinda the point. There’s a new reference frame happening. Do you see those kids in the control room at Hawthorne? Those are the new generation and we just have to accept that...

That doesn't change the fact that I and others have been using the term "BFR" for over 50 years to describe a very big rocket.
Um, that’s fine. And good on ya! But Jim specifically said Elon Musk’s naming it the BFR had nothing to do with the game Doom, and that was what I was addressing.

If I’m not mistaken, Jim uses a one word response, so I am allowed the same courtesy.

Wrong
"that's a BFR" is clearly older than Musk.

But to tokenize it and use it as a proper noun?  Doom did it part way, and then Musk went out and called his rocket that, for reals.

Credit's due where credit's due.

While there may well be antecedents for the 'BFR' moniker (the B52 BUFF being the classic), I suspect that Elon Musk's personal inspiration did indeed come from Doom's BFG. Additionally, in the cussing-averse (cf: Wally Schirra and the turtle question) US media of yesteryear there may have been little opportunity for rocketeer slang to escape into the outside world. Charles Fort once wisely opined that a certain point in history was simply 'steam-engine time', and that the things just started popping up all over the place. BFR is probably the same, invented everywhere and nowhere - but Elon Musk is the only person to apply those three letters to his personal project.

At least Musk doesn't talk about 'gibbing' underperforming rockets...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 12/31/2017 12:59 AM
 Don't make me call Lar. You know what he's capable of.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/31/2017 01:11 AM
There were data on cost in the local press. Boca Chica was initially estimated by SpaceX at $85 million. Over time estimates have climbed to ~$100 million, barely above inflation rate, I guess. Maybe a little more, given that the improved TEL design will cost more. That included the Control Center and satellite integration facilities.
This all sounds about right.

Including BFS test launch capabilities will increase that but given that the thrust of BFS is smaller than FH it should not be too much more.

SpaceX is not allowed to launch BFS from Boca Chica, even for test flights.  The current EIS does not allow it.

What's more, SpaceX has not requested additional approvals for BFR test flights from BC.  If they had, as part of the approval process, they would have required a public comment period, which we haven't seen.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/31/2017 01:16 AM
BO is building their rockets in Florida and clearly plans to launch from there.  I do not think SpaceX plans to build theirs in Florida.  WIth something as big as BFR, it makes sense to build them very close to the launch facility.  BC has room for a factory, is closer to the test facility, and is closer to Hawthorne, by a lot, compared to Florida.
SpaceX is looking at property across from blue origin's factory at the cape.  There's plenty of land there.

1) We know that SpaceX will build BFR in L.A., somewhere close to water. This came from Gwynne's talk at Stanford.

2) There's a whole thread dedicated to exactly where that will be:
NASASpaceFlight.com Forum » SpaceX Vehicles and Missions » SpaceX General Section » Where will BFR be built?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43871.280
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/31/2017 01:23 AM
Don't make me call Lar. You know what he's capable of.

We know that Elon named BFR after the BFG-9000 gun from the Doom video game.  This is well documented.

We also know that other people came up with the same name independently, well before Musk did.

There are no issues here.  Let's move on.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/31/2017 02:11 AM
Don't we have a BFR launch site thread or two that would allow people to avoid continually dragging this thread into a BFR discussion when this launch site is still basically mud and a bit of construction before it gets to launch even a Falcon 9?

Awful lot of people seem to be getting annoyed by this.

I'm sure we do, but if not, start one, link it here and this thread gets back to what it's really about and that's the site's construction.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 12/31/2017 03:03 AM
What Chris said.

And even if somehow the details of launching BFR managed to fit into this thread by some miracle.... the origins of BFR certainly do not. So belay that.

Don't make me call Nomadd.. you know what he's capable of. (for one thing, you'll be PNG at the viewing parties he'll be hosting...)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/31/2017 03:37 AM
Nomadd - I’ll take you diving in a Caribbean reef exhibit filled with sharks, rays, 560lb green sea turtles, eels, and 700 other bony fish if you let me come and have a proper drink with you on your porch during a launch - deal? (I’m also in a conversation with a very prominent SpaceXer for a similar deal...)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 12/31/2017 04:21 AM
Ive been getting annoyed of the BFR talk since September too and I know that’s all the people in here are talking about, since nothing is going on at Boca Chica and the only reason there hasn’t been Contruction yet it because the falcon heavy needs to launch. and I don’t think Mods at the VANDY launch site will stop them from constructing in 2018 here at Boca Chica.  Boca Chica or not it’s still on SpaceX to do list.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/31/2017 04:46 AM
Don't we have a BFR launch site thread or two that would allow people to avoid continually dragging this thread into a BFR discussion when this launch site is still basically mud and a bit of construction before it gets to launch even a Falcon 9?

Over on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/SpaceXLounge/comments/79vsds/boca_chica_gets_second_antenna_spacex_says/), they're saying Falcon 9 will never launch from Boca Chica, and that SpaceX will go straight to BFR there.  Some folks on this thread are speculating the same.

At Stanford (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821), Gwynne said Boca Chica is the "perfect location for BFR".

At IAC 2017 (http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-26), Elon essentially said SpaceX will stop building Falcon 9 and turn all of SpaceX's resources towards building BFR.

Then on Oct. 11 (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/), SpaceX Senior Director Tom Ochinero said:
Quote from: SpaceX Senior Director Tom Ochinero
Q: You have two pads in Florida, plus Vandenberg. Is it fair to say that given what you can do from your current locations, you don’t need one in Texas?
A: 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.

Each of these statements can be interpreted in various ways, but taken as a whole, it appears there's a rational basis for speculation that Falcon 9 may never launch from Boca Chica.

In any case, there are no updates on construction that's specific to the Texas launch site. 

The 2 antenna dishes will support commercial crew launches from Florida.  These will track Dragon 2 in orbit.

The solar array being installed now will presumably power the antenna dishes.

And they just finished building a long-term facility to store the crane, which again leads to speculation.  If they're going to start construction soon, why not just cover it with a tarp?  Why do they need a long-term storage facility for the crane?

To be clear, I would like nothing more than to see Falcon 9 launching from Boca Chica this time next year.  That would be awesome.

But on the other hand, I don't feel comfortable just being a SpaceX cheerleader and ignoring any evidence that may conflict with that wish.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cscott on 12/31/2017 11:56 AM
Dave G, with all respect, you've stated your opinions multiple times and (to the extent things are knowable) they are not implausible. But *please*: this thread is for construction updates and discussion.  The rest of us are getting mighty bored reading the same thing over and over again.

Your previous post is an excellent summary of your position. (Although you missed the "no EIS" point you've made a dozen times here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1764125.msg#1764125)? Maybe you can edit that in.) If you must repeat yourself, a simple url citation to your above post would do. But really: there are other topics on this board that are more suited.

I would be much happier (and I'm sure others would agree) if Lar would Moderate With Extreme Prejudice future FH-or-F9-or-BFR posts recurring w/o further actual factual input (like, say, a new FAA comment period being launched) so when this topic is bolded in my reader I know that nomadd is off on adventures or some concrete is being poured.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 12/31/2017 01:22 PM
Dave G, with all respect, you've stated your opinions multiple times and (to the extent things are knowable) they are not implausible. But *please*: this thread is for construction updates and discussion.  The rest of us are getting mighty bored reading the same thing over and over again.

Maybe you're right.

Keep in mind, I've only been responding to posts that seem to imply F9 launching from Boca Chica is a sure thing.
But I guess the cumulative effect is somewhat bothersome.

As many on this thread have pointed out, now that the LC-40 pad crew is freed up, we may see some actual launch site construction in Boca Chica.  So for the next month or two, if someone's post implies that launching F9 from Boca Chica is a done deal, I'll refrain from replying, unless there's some actual news one way or the other.


(Although you missed the "no EIS" point you've made a dozen times here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1764125.msg#1764125)?

But that's a different, i.e. responding to posts that imply there are no issues for BFR and/or BFS launching from Boca Chica Beach.  In many of these cases, I refer the person posting the the other thread topic: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be? (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44168.0;all)

I'll try to be more vigilant about that as well.

Happy New Year!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: philw1776 on 12/31/2017 01:34 PM
There were data on cost in the local press. Boca Chica was initially estimated by SpaceX at $85 million. Over time estimates have climbed to ~$100 million, barely above inflation rate, I guess. Maybe a little more, given that the improved TEL design will cost more. That included the Control Center and satellite integration facilities.
This all sounds about right.

Including BFS test launch capabilities will increase that but given that the thrust of BFS is smaller than FH it should not be too much more.

SpaceX is not allowed to launch BFS from Boca Chica, even for test flights.  The current EIS does not allow it.

What's more, SpaceX has not requested additional approvals for BFR test flights from BC. If they had, as part of the approval process, they would have required a public comment period, which we haven't seen.

That lack of approval request makes me believe that the BFR and BFS is a lot less firm in its final design configuration than some believe.  BC would be a great site for BFS sub-orbital testing as Gwynne said, except for the major details... lack of mandatory approvals submissions, current limits on # of flights, closeness to populated areas for BFR, etc.
What's neat is that 2018 will likely give us tangible insight into SpaceX's actual plans or lack of same for BC construction.  fortunately we have excellent on site coverage here of what is and is not happening construction wise.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Comga on 12/31/2017 02:12 PM
I would be much happier (and I'm sure others would agree) if Lar would Moderate With Extreme Prejudice future FH-or-F9-or-BFR posts recurring w/o further actual factual input (like, say, a new FAA comment period being launched) so when this topic is bolded in my reader I know that nomadd is off on adventures or some concrete is being poured.

Yes
I do agree
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 01/02/2018 06:28 PM
Here is SpaceX 2018 overview
Boca Chica is last on the list
Q4 new constructed launch site
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: theinternetftw on 01/02/2018 07:05 PM
Here is SpaceX 2018 overview
Boca Chica is last on the list
Q4 new constructed launch site

Just to make it clear, this comes from this reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/7nm8yi/spacex_overview_2018/) and, from reading the comments there, is one reader's attempt to describe the coming year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: testguy on 01/02/2018 09:05 PM
Notice it says constructed  One would think activity would have to start now to meet an optimistic 4th quarter
completion.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/02/2018 09:59 PM
Notice it says constructed  One would think activity would have to start now to meet an optimistic 4th quarter
completion.

Building a new site from the ground up will be a mixed blessing.  It's free of the inefficiencies of CCAFS and KSC.  However, they have to do lots of civil work and slow items like concrete flame trenches that can't be rushed.

They do have lots of experience now and I'm sure they are going to enjoy the clean slate.  But this won't be fast.

I'm skeptical of the need for BC, but it will be fun to see them add yet another site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jcc on 01/02/2018 10:14 PM
Notice it says constructed  One would think activity would have to start now to meet an optimistic 4th quarter
completion.

I think this puts to rest the idea that they have decided not to build a F9/FH launch site. Other people may think differently.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Craig_VG on 01/02/2018 10:46 PM
I think this puts to rest the idea that they have decided not to build a F9/FH launch site.

That photo is community content (speculation) and has no bearing on the actual plans of SpaceX
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: theinternetftw on 01/03/2018 01:38 AM
Just to make it clear, this comes from this reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/7nm8yi/spacex_overview_2018/) and, from reading the comments there, is one reader's attempt to describe the coming year.

So much for "just to make it clear."  Hopefully folks get it now :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/03/2018 04:35 AM
  For what it's worth, the people building the crane warehouse say the plan is to tear it down in two years. It's not finished yet. They still need to put the big door in. It looks like they might be able to put everything on dollys and drag it out the door if they had to.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 01/03/2018 05:57 AM
  For what it's worth, the people building the crane warehouse say the plan is to tear it down in two years.

I heard from a guy that has a contract with SpaceX, a business
Amigo Contruction from Brownsville he said SpaceX told us where supposed to build 2 buildings in the near future.  Get this Amigo Contruction helped build the crane house pretty sure they still have a contract with SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: smh on 01/03/2018 07:34 AM
DM-2 seems to be missing
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Silmfeanor on 01/03/2018 01:20 PM
People, the earlier linked article is fan-made. That means it is not from SpaceX. The information on it is speculation, from a fan-source. Stuff on there might not happen; stuff that will happen is not on there.

Boca Chica being on there is not information from SpaceX. It does not mean that SpaceX will build Boca Chica by Q4 2018.

Are we clear, and can we stop talking about it now?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: theinternetftw on 01/03/2018 05:56 PM
Seriously. It's taken a surprising (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1766829#msg1766829) amount of posts (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1766905#msg1766905) to this effect (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1766932#msg1766932) from multiple (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1767010#msg1767010) people. Although this exercise does now mean that the devil in me is thinking about making a powerpoint slide with the SpaceX logo slapped on it a few times that says "Actually, lets make flying cities on Venus instead."
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/03/2018 06:22 PM
Seriously. It's taken a surprising (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1766829#msg1766829) amount of posts (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1766905#msg1766905) to this effect (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1766932#msg1766932) from multiple (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43968.msg1767010#msg1767010) people. Although this exercise does now mean that the devil in me is thinking about making a powerpoint slide with the SpaceX logo slapped on it a few times that says "Actually, lets make flying cities on Venus instead."

Dam I thought I was the only one thinking mischievous thoughts of starting a fake story. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/03/2018 08:35 PM
 I've been playing with a cheap, Chinese ptz webcam and a telescopic Channel Master 41 foot pole. The pole is only about 16 feet up at the moment because I'm still working on guys. The camera seems to be surprisingly solid for a no name, low cost knockoff but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't last long. I mainly want to see if 40 feet will clear the large tree between me and the control center. When they start getting serious out here, I'll probably think of getting a 50 foot Rohn 25.

 Of all the names for a remote camera, "Infrared Cloud Billiards Machine" isn't one I would have guessed.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/03/2018 08:46 PM
NOMADD CAM

It's been a long time coming.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/03/2018 09:00 PM
I need NomaddCam© in my life

Also, I don't really care about how bad the camera is, just as long as it works and shows something good
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 01/03/2018 09:09 PM
I've been playing with a cheap, Chinese ptz webcam and a telescopic Channel Master 41" pole. The pole is only about 16 feet up at the moment because I'm still working on guys. The camera seems to be surprising solid for a no name, low cost knockoff but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't last long. I mainly want to see if 40 feet will clear the large tree between me and the control center. When they start getting serious out here, I'll probably think of getting a 50 foot Rohn 25.

How many cameras are you going to get 2? So both are  facing the control center/ tracking dishes and launch site?  Or just one?   Can see your ready to record progress with the NomaddCam.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/03/2018 09:17 PM
I've been playing with a cheap, Chinese ptz webcam and a telescopic Channel Master 41" pole. The pole is only about 16 feet up at the moment because I'm still working on guys. The camera seems to be surprising solid for a no name, low cost knockoff but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't last long. I mainly want to see if 40 feet will clear the large tree between me and the control center. When they start getting serious out here, I'll probably think of getting a 50 foot Rohn 25.

How many cameras are you going to get 2? So both are  facing the control center/ tracking dishes and launch site?  Or just one?   Can see your ready to record progress with the NomaddCam.
  Not really much of a webcam when there's no web. My internet is a smartphone in the kitchen window, so it's just a Cat5 to my laptop now. It was easier once I figured out they had the wrong IP on the label.
 PTZ means pan/tilt/zoom. If we ever get real internet out here, I'll figure everything out. The cam has a built in web page, so it's pretty simple. Kinda glitchy using a browser, but DaveG seems to know his way around a packet so I figure he'd be a good source of advice if it ever goes online.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/03/2018 09:26 PM
I've been playing with a cheap, Chinese ptz webcam and a telescopic Channel Master 41" pole. The pole is only about 16 feet up at the moment because I'm still working on guys. The camera seems to be surprising solid for a no name, low cost knockoff but I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't last long. I mainly want to see if 40 feet will clear the large tree between me and the control center. When they start getting serious out here, I'll probably think of getting a 50 foot Rohn 25.

How many cameras are you going to get 2? So both are  facing the control center/ tracking dishes and launch site?  Or just one?   Can see your ready to record progress with the NomaddCam.
  Not really much of a webcam when there's no web. My internet is a smartphone in the kitchen window. It's just a Cat5 to my laptop now. It was easier once I figured out they had the wrong IP on the label.
 PTZ means pan/tilt/zoom. If we ever get real internet out here, I'll figure everything out. The cam has a built in web page, so it's pretty simple. Kinda glitchy using a browser, but DaveG seems to know his way around a packet so I figure he'd be a good source of advice if it ever goes online.

Cough COUGH Starlink
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/03/2018 09:45 PM
 I'm still working the bugs out. Literally. I thought I'd burnt the sensor the first hour looking at the sun or something, and found a big Miller moth sitting on the lens.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 01/03/2018 10:07 PM
Of all the names for a remote camera, "Infrared Cloud Billiards Machine" isn't one I would have guessed.

Clearly, with the ICBM acronym they knew you'd be aiming the camera at rockets. And if you read it fast you can almost get 'Internet Cloud Billionaire's Machine', which might lead one to believe that they knew you were going to use it to watch SpaceX, or Blue Origin, (or Stratolaunch - less likely)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: groundbound on 01/03/2018 11:48 PM
When the launch site gets going, you'll need to request that they declare a moth keepout area for launch days.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/03/2018 11:58 PM
When the launch site gets going, you'll need to request that they declare a moth keepout area for launch days.

Have mini anti-aircraft missiles installed, aimed at only moths
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: TripD on 01/04/2018 01:27 AM
  If we ever get real internet out here, I'll figure everything out.

You have to laugh a little at the irony in all of this.  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/04/2018 05:39 PM
 The camera is up to 25 feet. More will have to wait a bit for me to make guy points. After 50 years, I managed to lose two windows in a week, including a sliding glass door, so priorities have shifted for a few days. Unfortunately, most of the shots are southerly, so it's going to tend to be glary in the wintertime. Maybe somebody will send me a better camera with a rotating filter disk or something when construction picks up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/04/2018 05:52 PM
Kinda glitchy using a browser.

 Interesting problem. When the webpage in the camera was Chinese, it was dropping the connection after every request and having to reconnect for the next one. After finally figuring out how to switch it to English, the issue went away.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/04/2018 05:59 PM
Is this a normal amount of traffic for a Thursday morning? or is something unusual happening?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/04/2018 06:01 PM
Is this a normal amount of traffic for a Thursday morning? or is something unusual happening?
The construction guys like to go down to the beach during lunchtime. There's not usually more than a dozen private vehicles on the whole 7 1/2 miles of beach on weekdays. Most vehicles are site related, security or law enforcement. State, Sheriff and Border Patrol all like to cruise around. Bird watchers are also a factor.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/04/2018 06:13 PM
 A good shot of the control center might have to wait for a 50 foot tower. SpaceX has a BFT in the way.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: bob the martian on 01/04/2018 06:18 PM
A good shot of the control center might have to wait for a 50 foot tower. SpaceX has a BFT in the way.

Or a chainsaw...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kenp51d on 01/04/2018 06:22 PM
That is way to cool.
Let's just hope some one doesn't get the wrong ideal about that camera, and think you are doing something wrong. That could be a pain in the butt.

Ken

Sent from my V10 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/04/2018 06:27 PM
 Shot of the mound. It's something like 16 feet high, so an assembled F9 would be almost the height of the photo. The pad would be to the right of the mound, so we don't have to worry about a warehouse blocking the view.
 If they launch something here before I die of old age, a much closer, remote cam is possible. A pair of cheap, 16 db panels would be fine for a clean LOS, low rf environment WiFi connection at a mile and a half.

 Apparently, half of good picture taking is waiting for the light to behave.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: RonM on 01/04/2018 07:21 PM
That is way to cool.
Let's just hope some one doesn't get the wrong ideal about that camera, and think you are doing something wrong. That could be a pain in the butt.

Ken

Sent from my V10 using Tapatalk

It's on Nomadd's property and that property is in Texas, 'nuff said.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 01/04/2018 07:26 PM
Apparently, half of good picture taking is waiting for the light to behave.

And the other half is having a camera. Thanks for the pics, can't wait to start watching the grass grow (on the mound)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kenp51d on 01/04/2018 07:29 PM
That is way to cool.
Let's just hope some one doesn't get the wrong ideal about that camera, and think you are doing something wrong. That could be a pain in the butt.

Ken

Sent from my V10 using Tapatalk

It's on Nomadd's property and that property is in Texas, 'nuff said.
Yup knew that. Lived in Texas awhile, miss it. But it seems these days that people just make trouble for no good reason. Any more I just assume the worse till proven wrong.

Ken

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/04/2018 10:43 PM
 The array is going up fast. It's starting to look like a solar farm.
 I did a little measuring and counting and came up with a few numbers. It turns out the old rule of thumb of 250kw an acre was pretty dated.
 With 330W panels and each 12 panel rack taking 360 square feet, including the space between racks I get exactly 11 watts per square foot for this field. There are 160 racks, or 1,920 panels for 633.6 kw over 1.32 acres, or exactly 480kw an acre.
 So, if you make the path between racks a few inches smaller, you could figure half a megawatt per acre with this setup. There may be codes in some places requiring less ground coverage for large arrays.
 It seems a little odd they're pointed at about 225 degrees. Maybe afternoon air conditioning is the load they worry about most.
 
 I got spoiled with my little pocket camera. 1080 photos just don't look good anymore.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/05/2018 02:26 AM
It seems a little odd they're pointed at about 225 degrees. Maybe afternoon air conditioning is the load they worry about most.
Good point.

Most solar panels in the northern hemisphere are tilted to the south.  These appear to be tilted a bit more to the west.

As you say, this would provide less power in the morning, and more power in the afternoon, which would presumably be better for air conditioning.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/05/2018 02:37 AM
The array is going up fast. It's starting to look like a solar farm.
 I did a little measuring and counting and came up with a few numbers. It turns out the old rule of thumb being 250kw an acre was pretty dated.
 With 330W panels and each 12 panel rack taking 360 square feet, including the space between racks I get exactly 11 watts per square foot for this field. There are 160 racks, or 1,920 panels for 633.6 kw over 1.32 acres, or exactly 480kw an acre.
 So, if you make the path between racks a few inches smaller, you could figure half a megawatt per acre with this setup. There may be codes in some places requiring less ground coverage for large arrays.
 It seems a little odd they're pointed at about 225 degrees. Maybe afternoon air conditioning is the load they worry about most.
 
 I got spoiled with my little pocket camera. 1080 photos just don't look good anymore.

So is the plan to use the PV Solar to charge Tesla Powerpacks and build the project with self generated power? 

A half megawatt with battery storage should go along way at supporting most of the construction.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/05/2018 02:42 AM
The array is going up fast. It's starting to look like a solar farm.
 I did a little measuring and counting and came up with a few numbers. It turns out the old rule of thumb being 250kw an acre was pretty dated.
 With 330W panels and each 12 panel rack taking 360 square feet, including the space between racks I get exactly 11 watts per square foot for this field. There are 160 racks, or 1,920 panels for 633.6 kw over 1.32 acres, or exactly 480kw an acre.
 So, if you make the path between racks a few inches smaller, you could figure half a megawatt per acre with this setup. There may be codes in some places requiring less ground coverage for large arrays.
 It seems a little odd they're pointed at about 225 degrees. Maybe afternoon air conditioning is the load they worry about most.
 
 I got spoiled with my little pocket camera. 1080 photos just don't look good anymore.

So is the plan to use the PV Solar to charge Tesla Powerpacks and build the project with self generated power? 

A half megawatt with battery storage should go along way at supporting most of the construction.
It’ll go a huge way, especially since 99.99% of construction vehicles are diesel...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Azular on 01/05/2018 02:59 AM
Kinda glitchy using a browser.

 Interesting problem. When the webpage in the camera was Chinese, it was dropping the connection after every request and having to reconnect for the next one. After finally figuring out how to switch it to English, the issue went away.

Maybe the English version bypasses the Great Firewall of China  :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: ChrisC on 01/05/2018 03:02 AM
Just want to say THANK YOU Nomadd.  This is so awesome.

Now about that internet connection ...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/05/2018 03:03 AM
I got spoiled with my little pocket camera. 1080 photos just don't look good anymore.

Depends on the specific type of 1080.

1080 is the just number of pixels. The amount of compression also makes a huge difference in the final image quality.

In fact, if you listen to professional cinematographers, when they talk about "resolution", they're not talking about the number of pixels. They're talking about the ability to visually resolve fine details within the image. For example, 4K video that's been heavily compressed to fit onto a consumer flash card often has less visual resolution than professional 1080p video that's been lightly compressed to fit on a professional RAID flash card or SSD.

As an example, look at the cropped section of the webcam photo below.  Note all of the compression artifacts around the pole, wire, and the horizon. This is commonly referred to as "mosquito noise", and it's very common in consumer grade cameras. With professional cameras that use much less compression, most of these types of compression artifacts go away.

More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_artifact
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/05/2018 03:24 AM
So is the plan to use the PV Solar to charge Tesla Powerpacks and build the project with self generated power? 

A half megawatt with battery storage should go along way at supporting most of the construction.

What makes you think they'll use Tesla Powerpacks?

To be clear, I have no idea if they will or not, but as far as I know, the use of Tesla Powerpacks has not been confirmed.

Note that the vast majority of solar systems in the U.S. are grid-tied, with no batteries.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, when they ran fiber-optic cables to Boca Chica last year, they also ran new electrical power lines to the area.  Nomadd, do I have this right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/05/2018 05:25 AM
So is the plan to use the PV Solar to charge Tesla Powerpacks and build the project with self generated power? 

A half megawatt with battery storage should go along way at supporting most of the construction.

What makes you think they'll use Tesla Powerpacks?

To be clear, I have no idea if they will or not, but as far as I know, the use of Tesla Powerpacks has not been confirmed.

Note that the vast majority of solar systems in the U.S. are grid-tied, with no batteries.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, when they ran fiber-optic cables to Boca Chica last year, they also ran new electrical power lines to the area.  Nomadd, do I have this right?
Nope. No new electric yet, but the company guy marking lines last week said there was some on the way. It turns out that when they claimed they were upgrading it a couple of years ago, they were actually downgrading it to 7200 volts because of deteriorating insulators. That little stretch of wire in the picture you just put up is actually the only overhead for miles. The guy that owns the former store ran it from across the road because coming underground would have cost more.
 I haven't found many choice with this camera yet, but switching to BMP does seem to be better quality than the overly aggressive jpg they use.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 01/05/2018 11:24 AM
I'm a little surprised that the solar panels are mounted so close to the ground.  Looks difficult to clean vegetation out from under them that low.  A little higher and the maintenance people could get underneath with a trimmer.  Originally I thought the panels would be high enough to use the space underneath for parking, but that is definitely not the case.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: JamesH65 on 01/05/2018 12:03 PM
I'm a little surprised that the solar panels are mounted so close to the ground.  Looks difficult to clean vegetation out from under them that low.  A little higher and the maintenance people could get underneath with a trimmer.  Originally I thought the panels would be high enough to use the space underneath for parking, but that is definitely not the case.

In the UK sheep are often left to roam solar fields, do a good job of keeping vegetation down.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 01/05/2018 02:05 PM
The array is going up fast. It's starting to look like a solar farm.
 I did a little measuring and counting and came up with a few numbers. It turns out the old rule of thumb being 250kw an acre was pretty dated.
 With 330W panels and each 12 panel rack taking 360 square feet, including the space between racks I get exactly 11 watts per square foot for this field. There are 160 racks, or 1,920 panels for 633.6 kw over 1.32 acres, or exactly 480kw an acre.
 So, if you make the path between racks a few inches smaller, you could figure half a megawatt per acre with this setup. There may be codes in some places requiring less ground coverage for large arrays.
 It seems a little odd they're pointed at about 225 degrees. Maybe afternoon air conditioning is the load they worry about most.
 
 I got spoiled with my little pocket camera. 1080 photos just don't look good anymore.

So is the plan to use the PV Solar to charge Tesla Powerpacks and build the project with self generated power? 

A half megawatt with battery storage should go along way at supporting most of the construction.
It’ll go a huge way, especially since 99.99% of construction vehicles are diesel...
That's the only way, since the tractors are half a MWatt each....
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/05/2018 10:06 PM
Just want to say THANK YOU Nomadd.  This is so awesome.

Hear, hear.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: meekGee on 01/05/2018 10:27 PM
I'm a little surprised that the solar panels are mounted so close to the ground.  Looks difficult to clean vegetation out from under them that low.  A little higher and the maintenance people could get underneath with a trimmer.  Originally I thought the panels would be high enough to use the space underneath for parking, but that is definitely not the case.

In the UK sheep are often left to roam solar fields, do a good job of keeping vegetation down.

Electric sheep?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/05/2018 10:50 PM
I'm a little surprised that the solar panels are mounted so close to the ground.  Looks difficult to clean vegetation out from under them that low.  A little higher and the maintenance people could get underneath with a trimmer.  Originally I thought the panels would be high enough to use the space underneath for parking, but that is definitely not the case.

In the UK sheep are often left to roam solar fields, do a good job of keeping vegetation down.

That happens by me too, Pocono Raceway has a multi-acre solar farm, and sheep cut its grass too.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kansan52 on 01/05/2018 10:52 PM
Roombas with spin trimmers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/05/2018 10:53 PM
Roombas with spin trimmers.

Hey, if the OCISLY one is retired soon, it'll have a good retirement job  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Comga on 01/05/2018 10:56 PM
I'm a little surprised that the solar panels are mounted so close to the ground.  Looks difficult to clean vegetation out from under them that low.  A little higher and the maintenance people could get underneath with a trimmer.  Originally I thought the panels would be high enough to use the space underneath for parking, but that is definitely not the case.

In the UK sheep are often left to roam solar fields, do a good job of keeping vegetation down.

Electric sheep?

An android's dream
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/05/2018 11:33 PM
Note that the vast majority of solar systems in the U.S. are grid-tied, with no batteries.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, when they ran fiber-optic cables to Boca Chica last year, they also ran new electrical power lines to the area.  Nomadd, do I have this right?
No new electric yet, but the company guy marking lines last week said there was some on the way...
So for the solar array they're installing now, there's still a possibility it may be grid-tied without Tesla Powerpacks.

Am I missing something here?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: groundbound on 01/05/2018 11:58 PM
I'm a little surprised that the solar panels are mounted so close to the ground.  Looks difficult to clean vegetation out from under them that low.  A little higher and the maintenance people could get underneath with a trimmer.  Originally I thought the panels would be high enough to use the space underneath for parking, but that is definitely not the case.

In the UK sheep are often left to roam solar fields, do a good job of keeping vegetation down.

Sheep also generate methane, though it would take a lot of them to fuel a BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/06/2018 12:19 AM

Sheep also generate methane, though it would take a lot of them to fuel a BFR.
Maybe you finally figured out what the F in BFR stands for.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: nacnud on 01/06/2018 12:26 AM
Sheep also generate methane, though it would take a lot of them to fuel a BFR.

Cows generate more methane than sheep, and seem more appropriate to Texas.

Maybe you finally figured out what the F in BFR stands for.

Bio-Fueled Rocket! That's what you meant, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/06/2018 12:27 AM
So for the solar array they're installing now, there's still a possibility it may be grid-tied without Tesla Powerpacks.
Am I missing something here?
Elephino. The guy in charge of getting the site done wasn't sure exactly what they're going to do with all those watts. Even if it is mostly for A/C you'd still need battery or enough public utility available for passing clouds and such.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/06/2018 12:33 AM
Sheep also generate methane, though it would take a lot of them to fuel a BFR.

Cows generate more methane than sheep, and seem more appropriate to Texas.

Maybe you finally figured out what the F in BFR stands for.

Bio-Fueled Rocket! That's what you meant, right?
Not exactly. It would make it hard to ever watch a launch again without thinking idiots, baked beans and cigarette lighters.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: TripD on 01/06/2018 02:21 AM
So, just looking at the image of the solar array, I don't see any obvious way to change the tilt of them.  Is there a plan for hurricane season?  Just let em fly? 

BTW,  thanks for your excellent coverage down there Nomadd!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 01/06/2018 03:04 AM
Sheep at solar farms here too.

Someone tried goats, but they couldn't resist climbing up on the panels.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/06/2018 03:39 AM
So, just looking at the image of the solar array, I don't see any obvious way to change the tilt of them.
Right.  The solar panels being installed at Boca Chica appear to be permanently tilted to the South-West.

From what I understand, tilting the panels directly South would provide the maximum solar radiation, i.e. the most solar power.  With the Boca Chica solar panels tilted South-West, this will provide a little less power overall, but a little more power in the afternoon, when the outside temperature is highest.

Speculation: If they were planning to install 24 hours worth of Tesla Powerpack battery storage, it seems to me they would have tilted the panels to the South, to maximize total power output.

Is there a plan for hurricane season?  Just let em fly?
I've thought about this as well.  No answers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kenp51d on 01/06/2018 04:26 AM
2 questions if i may ask NOMADD
How far are you from Spacex?
And were the pics you took with your mast camera optical zoom or was there some degree of electronic zoom (pretty sure I phrased that badly)?
That really is super cool.

Ken

Sent from my V10 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: docmordrid on 01/06/2018 04:29 AM
>
Is there a plan for hurricane season?  Just let em fly?
I've thought about this as well.  No answers.

Given the nose-diving price of solar panels, hurricane mitigations may be more expensive than just replacing them and the mounting rails.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/06/2018 04:44 AM
2 questions if i may ask NOMADD
How far are you from Spacex?

Not quite sure what you mean here.

Nomadd lives in one of the houses in Boca Chica Village.  SpaceX also owns some houses there, so you could say they're neighbors.

If you're asking how far he lives from the launch site, it's a little less than 2 miles.

In the other direction, he's around a half-mile from the SpaceX Control Center.

The antenna dishes and solar panels are very close to Boca Chica Village, as you can see on the map below.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kenp51d on 01/06/2018 04:47 AM
2 questions if i may ask NOMADD
How far are you from Spacex?

Not quite sure what you mean here.

Nomadd lives in one of the houses in Boca Chica Village.  SpaceX also owns some houses there, so you could say they're neighbors.

If you're asking how far he lives from the launch site, it's a little less than 2 miles.

In the other direction, he's around a half-mile from the SpaceX Control Center.

The antenna dishes and solar panels are very close to Boca Chica Village, as you can see on the map below.
Thanks that answers my badly phrased question. Was just curious

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Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/06/2018 05:01 AM
2 questions if i may ask NOMADD
How far are you from Spacex?
And were the pics you took with your mast camera optical zoom or was there some degree of electronic zoom (pretty sure I phrased that badly)?
That really is super cool.

Ken

  My house is between two SpaceX houses. One of their trees is hitting my roof again, so it's pruning time tomorrow.
 The camera is 20x optical. Of course, a week after I got it I found the next version with a better lens and higher resolution for the same price.

 They packed the panels in tighter than I thought, so I no longer have a guess as to what the lot southwest of the dishes is for. The guy doing the solar field didn't know either.

 They only seem to start stuff when I'm gone, so I'm thinking of visiting Oz and surrounding areas next month. See if those giant Eucalyptus in Tasmania are as impressive as I've heard.  And, somehow I wound up with two Grace Jones tickets in Melbourne.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 01/06/2018 05:49 AM
you lucky dog you.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Semmel on 01/06/2018 08:47 AM
When you are in tasmania, make sure to see some wild devils. The are dying from a infectios mouth cancer with 100% fatality rate. Might not be long before they are extinct. Have fun on your trip!
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: MickQ on 01/06/2018 09:26 AM
And don't forget it is summer here now.  40+ degrees centigrade in some parts at the moment.  Extreme fire danger in the southern states.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Kenp51d on 01/06/2018 02:51 PM
Thanks NOMADD. It's normal that aw soon as you buy something the next better is available.
And if it takes you being gone for Spacx to get cranking, well then get yourself down under.
Waiting to see tis thing built and birds flying


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Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: sprocket on 01/06/2018 05:12 PM
It would be helpful, at least for me, if Nomad’s house was shown on the real estate map. It would make orienting oneself with respect to the pictures from NomaddCam much easier. Of course there’s a privacy issue but maybe that horse has left the barn. Dunno.
At any rate his camera is one of the coolest things ever.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/06/2018 06:10 PM
It would be helpful, at least for me, if Nomad’s house was shown on the real estate map. It would make orienting oneself with respect to the pictures from NomaddCam much easier. Of course there’s a privacy issue but maybe that horse has left the barn. Dunno.
At any rate his camera is one of the coolest things ever.
Most people here know where I am, but we don't want to make it too easy for lazy reporters or "Free shipping for orders over $35" invasion forces.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/06/2018 06:21 PM
Nomadd-

Do you think you'll have to move once/before launches start occurring? Or will you have to leave your house during launches?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: aero on 01/06/2018 06:40 PM
It would be helpful, at least for me, if Nomad’s house was shown on the real estate map. It would make orienting oneself with respect to the pictures from NomaddCam much easier. Of course there’s a privacy issue but maybe that horse has left the barn. Dunno.
At any rate his camera is one of the coolest things ever.
Most people here know where I am, but we don't want to make it too easy for lazy reporters or "Free shipping for orders over $35" invasion forces.

That's fine, and understandable. Anyway, from the sun shadows it looks like you are shooting generally to the SE.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/06/2018 06:50 PM
Nomadd-

Do you think you'll have to move once/before launches start occurring? Or will you have to leave your house during launches?
Depends on what they're launching.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/07/2018 02:34 AM
Nomadd-

Do you think you'll have to move once/before launches start occurring? Or will you have to leave your house during launches?
Depends on what they're launching.

According to the current EIS, for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch windows, property owners have no restrictions on their movements as long as they stay West of the hard checkpoint.  Note that all houses in Boca Chica Village are West of the hard checkpoint.

Additionally, if property owners travel from Brownsville along Route 4, they'll need to show their driver's license or some other form of ID to get past the soft checkpoint.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/07/2018 02:51 AM
Sounds like a restriction to me . My experience with Texans (including my stubborn as heck Black and Tan coonhound rescued from Dallas area) lead me to think those would be considered constitutional violations. Just sayin...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: the_other_Doug on 01/07/2018 04:01 AM
... They only seem to start stuff when I'm gone, so I'm thinking of visiting Oz and surrounding areas next month. See if those giant Eucalyptus in Tasmania are as impressive as I've heard.  And, somehow I wound up with two Grace Jones tickets in Melbourne.

Nomadd in name, nomad in real life... ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/07/2018 11:47 AM
Sounds like a restriction to me . My experience with Texans (including my stubborn as heck Black and Tan coonhound rescued from Dallas area) lead me to think those would be considered constitutional violations. Just sayin...

In Texas, closing a public beach for private use was illegal, but they made an exception for SpaceX:

Perry signs SpaceX bill for S. Texas beach closures (http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/texas_legislature/article/Perry-signs-SpaceX-bill-for-S-Texas-beach-4547676.php)
Quote from: Local article dated May 24, 2013
Gov. Rick Perry on Friday signed into law a proposal to temporarily close a beach on the southern tip of Texas during rocket launches, a move that allows the state to remain competitive for a SpaceX launch site.

House Bill 2623 gives state officials permission to close the public Boca Chica Beach, near Brownsville, for up to 12 rocket launches a year. The proposal prohibits beach closures during the Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday weekends without approval of the general land office, the legislation states...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 08:08 PM
New hotels coming to Harlingen in anticipation of SpaceX
http://riograndeguardian.com/edc-ceo-new-hotels-coming-to-harlingen-in-anticipation-of-spacex/
Quote
A big reason 300-plus new hotel rooms are coming to Harlingen is in anticipation of SpaceX’s eagerly-anticipated rocket launching facility at Boca Chica beach.

That is the view of Raudel Garza, CEO of Harlingen Economic Development Corporation.

Garza appeared on RGG LIVE on Facebook on Monday and discussed new hotels coming to his city. On the way are a Hilton Garden Inn, which is going next to the new $14 million convention center, a Homewood Suites by Hilton, and a Fairfield Inn & Suites.

“When I heard about the hotel developers coming in we visited with them. One of the first things we do is ask them, what is going on, what is driving your decision to locate here in Harlingen?” Garza told the Rio Grande Guardian, following the livestream.

“And, what was a pleasant surprise was, they said really it is SpaceX. The expected demand for rooms for the tourists that will come here to see the launches, and for the crews that are working on the launches.”

Garza said Harlingen’s city and economic development leaders are excited that investors see a link between Harlingen and SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 08:10 PM
By the way, Nomadd, what ever happened to that abandoned hotel?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: SPITexas on 01/09/2018 09:10 PM
New hotels coming to Harlingen in anticipation of SpaceX
http://riograndeguardian.com/edc-ceo-new-hotels-coming-to-harlingen-in-anticipation-of-spacex/
Quote
A big reason 300-plus new hotel rooms are coming to Harlingen is in anticipation of SpaceX’s eagerly-anticipated rocket launching facility at Boca Chica beach.

That is the view of Raudel Garza, CEO of Harlingen Economic Development Corporation.

Garza appeared on RGG LIVE on Facebook on Monday and discussed new hotels coming to his city. On the way are a Hilton Garden Inn, which is going next to the new $14 million convention center, a Homewood Suites by Hilton, and a Fairfield Inn & Suites.

“When I heard about the hotel developers coming in we visited with them. One of the first things we do is ask them, what is going on, what is driving your decision to locate here in Harlingen?” Garza told the Rio Grande Guardian, following the livestream.

“And, what was a pleasant surprise was, they said really it is SpaceX. The expected demand for rooms for the tourists that will come here to see the launches, and for the crews that are working on the launches.”

Garza said Harlingen’s city and economic development leaders are excited that investors see a link between Harlingen and SpaceX.
Only question everybody is thinking is when,SpaceX starts Contruction. Suprised we haven’t heard anything from the Brownsville Economic Development council.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/09/2018 09:26 PM
By the way, Nomadd, what ever happened to that abandoned hotel?
Sam owns the house next to it and got the county to make the owner remove the mortal remains of the roof because his insurance inspector was getting edgy. The cinder blocks remain as mute testimony to unrealistic expectations.

 Funny you should mention new electrical lines. A trencher, spool of 2 inch conduit and markers pointing to our vintage substation have appeared. I thought of opening the box to see what's in there, but it looks like the hinges rusted out sometime in the 70s.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/09/2018 09:41 PM
 
 What a 40 foot high camera gets you from my back yard. Unfortunately, the tree between me and the control center is 45.

 
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 09:50 PM
Funny you should mention new electrical lines. A trencher, spool of 2 inch conduit and markers pointing to our vintage substation have appeared.

I'm just trying to figure out if the solar array will be:
1) Off-grid with Tesla Powerpacks
2) Grid tied with no Tesla Powerpacks
3) Some mix of 1) and 2), possibly with diesel backup

Given your reports of how much they've been digging and running moles, I'm leaning towards 2), but still unsure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 09:54 PM

 What a 40 foot high camera gets you from my back yard. Unfortunately, the tree between me and the control center is 45.

Looks like you have a good view of Stargate.  Does your camera have optical zoom?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/09/2018 10:02 PM

 What a 40 foot high camera gets you from my back yard. Unfortunately, the tree between me and the control center is 45.

Looks like you have a good view of Stargate.  Does your camera have optical zoom?
These two were a sample of the optical zoom. The mast is back down now. I just risked extending it without guys on a calm day for a few minutes.
 I know there are better cameras that take real pictures and not just video frames, but it doesn't pay to buy electronics before you need it now days.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: smndk on 01/09/2018 11:09 PM
Funny you should mention new electrical lines. A trencher, spool of 2 inch conduit and markers pointing to our vintage substation have appeared.

I'm just trying to figure out if the solar array will be:
1) Off-grid with Tesla Powerpacks
2) Grid tied with no Tesla Powerpacks
3) Some mix of 1) and 2), possibly with diesel backup

Given your reports of how much they've been digging and running moles, I'm leaning towards 2), but still unsure.

Given that Musk is involved at some level, I would say 3.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/09/2018 11:13 PM
I'd bet they'd have some sort of backup power generation, I think either grid or gas/diesel generators are pretty possible.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/09/2018 11:20 PM
Quick question: What is the giant crane for whose "house" is being built right now? Is it for inside the HIF?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/09/2018 11:32 PM
Quick question: What is the giant crane for whose "house" is being built right now? Is it for inside the HIF?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/10/2018 01:41 AM
I know there are better cameras that take real pictures and not just video frames, but it doesn't pay to buy electronics before you need it now days.
The zoom looks pretty good to me.


Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: MickQ on 01/10/2018 09:54 AM
A DJI Phantom 3 with custom stainless steel rotors should sort that tree out, Nomadd.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 01/10/2018 02:28 PM
Quick question: What is the giant crane for whose "house" is being built right now? Is it for inside the HIF?
Your guess is as good as mine.

Presumably the cranes inside the HIF would be overhead bridge cranes.This crane doesn't seem to be that kind, since it seems to have a base, a vertical component and a horizontal one. If you read back and review the pictures, speculation was that it would be used to construct the launch pad, and then remain as a crane for placing things (second stage on first, BFS on BFR) during operations.

Unclear if that speculation is well founded but I find it more likely than that this actually is for inside the HIF....
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Jet Black on 01/10/2018 03:13 PM
Is there any chance that they might consider vertical integration of payloads? They have to do it anyway for the BFR, so if texas was a useful launch site for Falcon payloads that can only be integrated vertically, they might just kill two birds with one stone.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/10/2018 03:22 PM
Is there any chance that they might consider vertical integration of payloads? They have to do it anyway for the BFR, so if texas was a useful launch site for Falcon payloads that can only be integrated vertically, they might just kill two birds with one stone.
I think vertical integration for F9/FH would require a new EIS.  The current EIS describes horizontal integration.

Also, are you sure BFS payload integration will be done vertically?  Couldn't they pack satellites into the BFS payload bay while BFS is horizontal, then bring it vertical at the pad?  At that point, the crane that's built into the pad would place BFS on top of BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: the_other_Doug on 01/10/2018 03:27 PM
Is there any chance that they might consider vertical integration of payloads? They have to do it anyway for the BFR, so if texas was a useful launch site for Falcon payloads that can only be integrated vertically, they might just kill two birds with one stone.
I think vertical integration for F9/FH would require a new EIS.  The current EIS describes horizontal integration.

Also, are you sure BFS payload integration will be done vertically?  Couldn't they pack satellites into the BFS payload bay while BFS is horizontal, then bring it vertical at the pad?  At that point, the crane that's built into the pad would place BFS on top of BFR.

In the various CGI presentations of BFS vehicle flow that have been released by SpaceX, the BFS does not nominally go horizontal in ground operations.  It lands on its tail on a landing pad situated next to the launch pad, has its payload bay serviced at the landing pad, and is then craned onto the top of a nearby BFR for immediate refueling and relaunch.

No horizontal servicing planned for the beast at all...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/10/2018 03:36 PM
If you read back and review the pictures, speculation was that it would be used to construct the launch pad, and then remain as a crane for placing things (second stage on first, BFS on BFR) during operations.

I suspect the crane will also be used to build the various facilities.  Note that 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 9 buildings:
• Pad Hangar
• Storage / CSE Parts Building
• Machine / Weld / Workshop Building
• Local Office at Launch Site
• Two Separate Launch Control Center Buildings
• Two Separate Payload Processing Facilities
• Another Hangar in the Control Center Area (the EIS says this is for refurbishment of flown stages, or for
   pre-integration preparation of the launch vehicle stages before they go to the pad hangar for final integration)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/10/2018 03:44 PM
In the various CGI presentations of BFS vehicle flow that have been released by SpaceX, the BFS does not nominally go horizontal in ground operations.  It lands on its tail on a landing pad situated next to the launch pad, has its payload bay serviced at the landing pad, and is then craned onto the top of a nearby BFR for immediate refueling and relaunch.

No horizontal servicing planned for the beast at all...

I guess it depends on what you call "payload integration".

So far, they've only shown how it will work for the BFS passenger and tanker variations.  Here, BFS just stays vertical between flights.

For the BFS cargo version that launches satellites to Earth orbit, I haven't seen any pictures or videos that show how payload integration will work.  Have you?

I'm guessing they'll need to transport BFS from the launch pad back to some type of payload processing facility, mate the satellite(s) with BFS there, then transport it back to the pad. But again, your guess is as good as mine.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Nomadd on 01/10/2018 03:47 PM
 I've heard the same statement from several contractors, that the crane was for "lifting up the spaceship". Most of these guys wouldn't know a Falcon 9 from a doorknob, but the phrasing was the same in all cases.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/10/2018 08:30 PM
I've heard the same statement from several contractors that the crane was for "lifting up the spaceship". Most of these guys wouldn't know a Falcon 9 from a doorknob, but the phrasing was the same in all cases.
Well, this could be awkward...
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/10/2018 09:27 PM
Cross posting the viewing thread I created to start collecting viewing location information ahead of the first launch.
As with launches from other launch sites people ask for viewing locations for each launch, but since a lot of the info is the same each time, we're going to start a general viewing thread for viewing of Boca Chica, TX launches.

Viewing locations for starters: To be Announced at a later date
If you are looking for VAFB launch viewing info please consult:  SpaceX Falcon 9 - Vandenberg - Launch Viewing (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41995.0)
If you are looking for CCAFS/KSC launch viewing info please consult:  SpaceX Falcon 9 - CCAFS/KSC (Florida Space Coast) - Launch Viewing (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44657.0)
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Lar on 01/10/2018 09:31 PM
I had to giggle at how premature that thread is in the grand scheme of things... also

.... Viewing location is Nomadd's place. Duh.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/10/2018 09:35 PM
I had to giggle at how premature that thread is in the grand scheme of things... also

.... Viewing location is Nomadd's place. Duh.
Somebody had to get the ball rolling. Need alternate locations as it probably wouldn't take long to break fire code on maximum occupancy rules for Nomadd's place.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: groundbound on 01/10/2018 11:52 PM
I had to giggle at how premature that thread is in the grand scheme of things... also

.... Viewing location is Nomadd's place. Duh.
Somebody had to get the ball rolling. Need alternate locations as it probably wouldn't take long to break fire code on maximum occupancy rules for Nomadd's place.

Well, the top of Nomadd's camera mast probably has a better view than his house does. I'm just guessing, but it might get a trifle uncomfortable if you stayed there a long time though.
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: darkenfast on 01/11/2018 04:18 AM
Maybe Nomadd wants to sit in his hydraulically-raising Laz-Y-Boy recliner (with optional beverage holder and sunbrella) and enjoy his house/launch viewpoint in glorious solitude.  Best to find alternate locations as well.  I wonder how close a kayak or canoe could get (legally)?
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: cppetrie on 01/11/2018 05:35 AM
Maybe Nomadd wants to sit in his hydraulically-raising Laz-Y-Boy recliner (with optional beverage holder and sunbrella) and enjoy his house/launch viewpoint in glorious solitude.  Best to find alternate locations as well.  I wonder how close a kayak or canoe could get (legally)?
This close...
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180111/4a7a77f405e33288e2582c891ee303c8.jpg)
plus whatever the NOTAMs for the specific launch in question.

From:
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/11/2018 10:11 AM
.... Viewing location is Nomadd's place. Duh.
For a lucky few.

For the rest, a more official viewing location is the new amphitheater they're building at the Southern tip of South Padre Island.

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: Dave G on 01/11/2018 10:13 AM
By the way, South Padre Island is a huge resort destination with many luxury hotels
Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: joncz on 01/11/2018 10:15 AM
Johnnyhinbos might have other ideas....

Title: Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
Post by: rpapo on 01/11/2018 10:18 AM