Author Topic: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6  (Read 524085 times)

Offline midnightrider3000

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #160 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

Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #161 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
« Last Edit: 10/22/2017 03:13 am by docmordrid »
DM

Offline SPITexas

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #162 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.
« Last Edit: 10/22/2017 05:40 am by SPITexas »

Offline Nomadd

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #163 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.
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Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #164 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.

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #165 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.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #166 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.

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #167 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.

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #168 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.


Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #169 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?

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #170 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 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 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 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.

Offline John Alan

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #171 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...  ;)

Offline nacnud

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #172 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 :)
« Last Edit: 10/22/2017 06:28 pm by nacnud »

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #173 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.
« Last Edit: 10/23/2017 11:35 am by Dave G »

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #174 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:

Online envy887

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #175 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.

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #176 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.

Offline philw1776

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #177 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. 
« Last Edit: 10/23/2017 05:36 pm by philw1776 »
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Online CraigLieb

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #178 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.
« Last Edit: 10/24/2017 01:15 pm by CraigLieb »
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Online envy887

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #179 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.

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