Author Topic: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?  (Read 69026 times)

Offline dlapine

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #100 on: 09/09/2011 07:33 PM »
Don't forget the strong back or support structure to actually carry and protect the first stage.
BTW, the page says
Quote
"Crane" type ops - lift of up to 90 tonnes vertically.
A Falcon Heavy booster has a 0.966 of fuel mass. Of the 480tn for the 16tn to LEO, if we subtract the 16tn of payload, and assume that the whole US is 1/8 of the total weight, we'd reach 406tn first stage fully fueled. If you multiply by 0.004, you'd get 16.24tn.  ::)
If you assume that the support structure would weight 35% of the whole stage, that would allow for a 4 times heavier first stage. If they can keep the T/W, that could be a 7.2m wide first stage, for example.


And it also says:

Quote
The hybrid airships are HAV's model 366, which can carry 50 tonnes if they take off horizontally like an airplane and around 30 tonnes if they take off vertically.

 ;D

In a stationary crane mode you might do 90 tons, but for the long distance transport, the limit is 30 tons. As I understand it, during operations the airship changes the amount of lifting gas it has on board to ascend and descend and it has a limited capability to do that.

http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/hav366.aspx claims a 1250 NM range with a max payload and a max speed around 100 KIAS. I read somewhere that an external load would reduce the range somewhat.

Hmm, the internal bay is only 4M across, so the launcher would definitely be external cargo.

Didn't see anything about cost, or rental fees for that matter

The current F9 1st stage and interstage is 33,000 lbs, dry weight.

Nice to see that weight doesn't rule it out.

So, are there any good launch sites within, say 1000 miles of Hawthorne?

Hmmm, The larger 606 model http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/hav606.aspx has an internal payload bay of 7.5M by 49M.

What's the length on a current F9 1st stage and interstage?

Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #101 on: 09/09/2011 07:42 PM »
VAFB is only 150 miles from Hawthorne

Offline dlapine

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #102 on: 09/09/2011 07:51 PM »
VAFB is only 150 miles from Hawthorne

Hmmm, 150 miles for a sling load seems very doable.

As an added bonus, you could fly most of the route over the ocean if that was desirable for hazmat transport. (Mostly, I'm thinking of the hazard of 15+ tons hanging overhead)

Offline sdsds

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #103 on: 09/09/2011 08:05 PM »
VAFB is only 150 miles from Hawthorne

Hmmm, 150 miles for a sling load seems very doable.

Hawthorne to the harbor at Long Beach is even less.  Once there, I'm pretty sure the Panama Canal is large enough to handle anything Hawthorne can produce.  ;)
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #104 on: 09/09/2011 08:18 PM »
Massive airships in the very tight LA airspace will be a problem, no matter which route the air ships take.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #105 on: 09/09/2011 09:43 PM »
This is pretty fanciful, but the LA airspace probably isn't much of a problem during the night.

Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #106 on: 09/09/2011 09:45 PM »
This is pretty fanciful, but the LA airspace probably isn't much of a problem during the night.

And this wouldn't fly at night

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #107 on: 09/09/2011 09:46 PM »
It doesn't have the capability to do so?

Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #108 on: 09/10/2011 11:04 AM »
The difference from what was discussed earlier in this thread is they now have 40 units on order.

Do you believe air traffic congestion can be a real problem for a low flying airship?  (it's max altitude was 3km I believe).

Offline go4mars

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #109 on: 09/11/2011 01:57 AM »
It will be hard for SpaceX to compete with low impact oil and gas operations for moving bulldozers and rigs around.  But if they have already made 40, that suggests the ability to make more.  It might eventually be available without booking years in advance.

What might make more sense, is for SpaceX to buy one of these things, and rent it out in California for fighting forest fires (dumping 90 tonnes of water would be useful), and other nearby uses.  It could offset the cost that way, and still have the thing on hand at short notice for moving stages around.  Probably not a go, but might be worth looking into for SpaceX.  Though I suspect they would rather make big stages close to the launch pad, or to a coast. 

I wonder if this is idea supplanted Pete Jess and his JHL-40, or if the JHL 40 is still planning to come online as competition for this. 

I've always thought neutral buoyancy airships and the like are a romantic idea (especially for keeping oil and gas/logging roads out of pristine wilderness areas). 
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #110 on: 09/11/2011 06:08 AM »
What might make more sense, is for SpaceX to buy one of these things, and rent it out in California for fighting forest fires (dumping 90 tonnes of water would be useful)

Don't think it's a good idea for fire fighting. Airship type vehicles don't handle the updrafts created by wildfires well.

Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #111 on: 09/11/2011 11:43 AM »
They'll only need it for stages bigger than a F9. This won't happen in 2014 and probably not for a few years after that.
If we're talking a 2016-2020 time frame those things can start to be common enough for SpaceX to buy or rent one.

They're also planning a 200 tonne model, so that one could be a real game changer, just imagine hauling a whole stack of falcons direct from the factory.

Here's a prototype flight -

Offline douglas100

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #112 on: 09/11/2011 03:32 PM »
This news story gives an idea the size of the unmanned vehicle: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12110386

It's a very appealing concept, but a word of caution about large numbers of them being built. Markets for pure airships have been thin. Maybe the hybrids with their versatility and ease of handling will bring them success. We'll see. But if they prove successful large rocket stages could be one of their cargoes, in principle.
Douglas Clark

Offline DaveH62

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #113 on: 09/12/2011 03:10 AM »
Rather than a sling, could a tri-hull be built, with an upper hull above the rocket and twin hulls on each side and a kevlar cradle to hold the rocket. You could slide the rocket out of the warehouse, right into the airship? The transfer process would be much safer than a sling hanging down from the airship. Fly straight to shore, and up to Vandenberg, or to a ship for delivery to KSC. If practical, it would also be a media spectacle with press you couldn't pay for.
Anyhow, certainly not on the critical path for SpaceX at this point.

Offline CitabriaFlyer

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #114 on: 09/12/2011 02:25 PM »
L
It's hard to say exactly what he means by "right next to",

How about location in the area that would allow easy transport to the pad? 

There are industrial parks all over the area.

Doing it on the range and having to stop production every time ULA decides to run up the flag seems a bit much.

I hear Playalinda would have a great view ;)

Yea, I'd probably guess by "right next to the pad", they mean someplace in Florida near that pad, that could be easily transported to the pad.
Also, if they build FX cores at some point, those might be launching from KSC rather than LC-40.  So maybe a new facility somewhere near the space coast, but so that it could also be barged up to the turning bay by KSC. It could go to the VAB or to LC-40 from there.  (I'm not familiar enough with the geography of the area to know if there's a place you could unload a barge closer to LC-40, or if you could truck 6m cores from a nearby facility to LC-40 or KSC.) 

Also, back in Hawthorne, I'd imagine not only would they continue to do engines and the capsules, but continue the 3.6m cores for F9 and FH at Vandenberg, as well as any launches of them at the Cape.  A new facility in Florida would probably just have the hardware to bend metal for the 6m cores.  (although, I suppose they could make it so they can do both 3.6m cores and 6m cores in Florida for all Cape launches, and then continue the 3.6m cores for VAFB launches.  That'd cut down on their logistics.  Engines are pretty easy to truck to they'd probably have all engine production consolidated in Hawthorne.)

Texas would actually work to if they had easy coast access, so they could load their cores on a barge and ship them to the Cape.  It's a longer float, but probably not prohibitively so.



Does anyone know if any of the navy bases at jacksonville would be suitable?


Offline douglas100

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #115 on: 09/12/2011 03:19 PM »
Rather than a sling, could a tri-hull be built, with an upper hull above the rocket and twin hulls on each side and a kevlar cradle to hold the rocket. You could slide the rocket out of the warehouse, right into the airship? The transfer process would be much safer than a sling hanging down from the airship. Fly straight to shore, and up to Vandenberg, or to a ship for delivery to KSC. If practical, it would also be a media spectacle with press you couldn't pay for.
Anyhow, certainly not on the critical path for SpaceX at this point.

Yes, there have been plans for very large roll on roll off HAV's that could possibly do that. HAV's have short field performance. It's perhaps physically possible that such a craft could land at Hawthorne Municipal Airport next to SpaceX and a large rocket stage could be rolled on. However judging by comments made earlier on this thread it seems unlikely that this would be allowed in such a built up area.
Douglas Clark

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #116 on: 09/12/2011 03:37 PM »
However judging by comments made earlier on this thread it seems unlikely that this would be allowed in such a built up area.

You kidding me, I would buy some adjacent land, build bleachers, and sell tickets  ::)
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Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #117 on: 09/12/2011 11:32 PM »
Ah, for simpler times... ;-)

Offline DaveH62

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #118 on: 09/13/2011 10:36 PM »
I would pay for a seat. Beer and hot dogs too.

Offline Prober

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #119 on: 09/18/2011 08:31 PM »
http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/09/large-airship-purchase.html
Here it is folks, a 50 tonne airship by 2014.

Might be great to fight forest fires. 
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