Author Topic: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?  (Read 69296 times)

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32440
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11187
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #80 on: 08/12/2011 11:52 PM »
I'm just thinking how incredibly efficient it would be to be able to build, test, integrate and launch all in the same general proximity.

My concern is that because they are using legacy NASA locations and infrastructure, they will eventually get trapped into some of the same inefficiencies...

It isnt a contagious disease. The locations have no effect on it.  And reality will have a greater effect.  Real world effects will increase prices

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10313
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #81 on: 08/13/2011 12:30 AM »
Why not just build out a second production facility in TX once the engine reaches that maturation point and flight rates are assured. Starts to feel very NASA when you have production, testing, integration and launch facilitss spread out across the country...Does not seem as efficient as their vertically integrated model would appear..

Better yet...move engine manufacture, and test to TX.  Tank manufacture in CA.  Final assembly at launch site.
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32440
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11187
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #82 on: 08/13/2011 12:42 AM »
Final assembly is still manufacturing and not a launch site task

Offline MP99

Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #83 on: 08/13/2011 09:17 AM »
Final assembly is still manufacturing and not a launch site task

For launch from KSC, wouldn't Michoud be an attractive location if they're going to build a large stage?

cheers, Martin

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32440
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11187
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #84 on: 08/13/2011 10:35 AM »
So is Decataur

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8652
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1124
  • Likes Given: 243
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #85 on: 08/13/2011 11:04 AM »
Quote from: Prober link=topic=26264.msg792684#msg792684

Better yet...move engine manufacture, and test to TX.  Tank manufacture in CA.  Final assembly at launch site.

Better yet, move everything to VAFB. Every orbit that really matters can be reached from it (Polar, ISS, GEO, even BEO). The Falcon 9 is undersized even from the cape for most GTO. Most commercial will go on the Heavy anyway, and it has performance to spare.
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline SpacexULA

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1756
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 73
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #86 on: 08/13/2011 03:02 PM »
Better yet, move everything to VAFB. Every orbit that really matters can be reached from it (Polar, ISS, GEO, even BEO). The Falcon 9 is undersized even from the cape for most GTO. Most commercial will go on the Heavy anyway, and it has performance to spare.

Sorry, your way more knowledgeable than I am so I have to ask.  You honestly think the Falcon Heavy will be the more popular product than the Falcon 9 for commercial payloads?  I thought most commercial payloads where below 8MT.
No Bucks no Buck Rogers, but at least Flexible path gets you Twiki.

Offline deltaV

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1538
  • Change in velocity
  • Liked: 166
  • Likes Given: 480
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #87 on: 08/13/2011 03:18 PM »
Quote from: Prober link=topic=26264.msg792684#msg792684

Better yet...move engine manufacture, and test to TX.  Tank manufacture in CA.  Final assembly at launch site.

Better yet, move everything to VAFB. Every orbit that really matters can be reached from it (Polar, ISS, GEO, even BEO). The Falcon 9 is undersized even from the cape for most GTO. Most commercial will go on the Heavy anyway, and it has performance to spare.

A quick look at a map suggests that launch from SpaceX's SLC-4 site to an ISS orbit would involve on the order of a 5 mile dog-leg maneuver to avoid overflying civilian land just after launch. Is that correct?

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=34.632706%C2%B0N+120.613393%C2%B0W&ie=UTF8&ll=34.565948,-120.413589&spn=0.307596,0.727158&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&gl=us&z=11

Edit: is overflying Mexico a problem?
« Last Edit: 08/13/2011 03:30 PM by deltaV »

Offline MP99

Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #88 on: 08/13/2011 04:30 PM »
So is Decataur

Intriguing thought. Many thanks.

cheers, Martin

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8652
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1124
  • Likes Given: 243
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #89 on: 08/13/2011 10:15 PM »
Sorry, your way more knowledgeable than I am so I have to ask.  You honestly think the Falcon Heavy will be the more popular product than the Falcon 9 for commercial payloads?  I thought most commercial payloads where below 8MT.

Remember Mr. Musk said, he expects to fly about 20 rockets a year, half of which are heavies. Now, the DOD fly's maybe one Delta Heavy a year, sometimes even two. So who will be buying a ride on the other nine? GEO comsats are getting heavier.

Now it is unlikely that they will drop to only one pad, but it is worth noting they maybe talking about a third pad so they have two pads for GEO, ISS ops. Launching ISS/GEO missions from VAFB would give them the extra pad they need. It will also allow them to convert SLC-40 for the heavy while still flying the ISS/GEO missions. Remember Dragon is volume not mass limited.

Of course for GEO this assumes they can produce an upper stage that lives long enough to carry out a bielliptical transfer orbit mission.
« Last Edit: 08/13/2011 10:19 PM by kevin-rf »
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline geoallegrezza

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #90 on: 08/15/2011 03:02 PM »
Jumping back a bit to the discussion of moving large stages by road, here's a pic of an S-II being moved down Seal Beach Blvd. from the North American facility at Seal Beach NWS to the port facility for shipment to MTS and then KSC.

http://sbfoundersday.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/we-will-go-to-the-moon/

Certainly if you are close enough to the shore and the road is wide and free of obstruction, you ought to be able to move any conceivable stage as needed.  SpaceX might be able to build or repurpose a facility near a port in Southern California and not have to transfer production operations to another state.

Obviously, political and tax/economic considerations will  influence this decision as well.


Offline simonbp

Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #91 on: 08/16/2011 05:40 AM »
So is Decataur

Speaking as someone who lived in Northern Alabama for several years, I can't recall anyone ever calling Decatur "attractive". Better river access than Huntsville maybe, but damn if it isn't one of the ugliest towns I've ever seen...

Online docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5023
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 2141
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #92 on: 08/16/2011 06:37 AM »
Small town alright; the kind where you're born, live & die inside the township limits.  Probably more Evangelical Churches per capita than I've ever seen.
« Last Edit: 08/16/2011 06:38 AM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline krytek

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 536
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #93 on: 09/08/2011 11:43 PM »
http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/09/large-airship-purchase.html
Here it is folks, a 50 tonne airship by 2014.

Offline douglas100

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2177
  • Liked: 226
  • Likes Given: 104
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #94 on: 09/09/2011 04:22 PM »
Are you suggesting that SpaceX should send super large stages by airship?
Douglas Clark

Offline douglas100

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2177
  • Liked: 226
  • Likes Given: 104
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #95 on: 09/09/2011 04:30 PM »
I personally like the idea of airships-they're kind of romantic.

The hybrid air vehicle shown in the link you posted seems similar to the SkyCat technology developed in the UK. That idea didn't succeed commercially at the time.

At the turn of the century there was also Cargo Lifter AG in Germany, but it  folded.

You could carry large size rocket stages this way avoiding ground bottlenecks, but:

a) large cargo lifting airships don't currently exist
b) it's cheaper to use surface transport.

Pity.

If SpaceX want to develop a vehicle larger than Falcon H it may be easier to cluster the appropriate number of Falcon 9 cores, sent to the launch site by road, as they are now.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2011 04:31 PM by douglas100 »
Douglas Clark

Offline dlapine

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 231
  • University of Illinois
  • Liked: 74
  • Likes Given: 76
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #96 on: 09/09/2011 05:31 PM »
I personally like the idea of airships-they're kind of romantic.

The hybrid air vehicle shown in the link you posted seems similar to the SkyCat technology developed in the UK. That idea didn't succeed commercially at the time.

At the turn of the century there was also Cargo Lifter AG in Germany, but it  folded.

You could carry large size rocket stages this way avoiding ground bottlenecks, but:

a) large cargo lifting airships don't currently exist
b) it's cheaper to use surface transport.

Pity.

If SpaceX want to develop a vehicle larger than Falcon H it may be easier to cluster the appropriate number of Falcon 9 cores, sent to the launch site by road, as they are now.

Given that 40 of these airships are on order be delivered in 2014 to Canada (I think that it's in support of oil shale extraction ops), I submit that they will exist in the near future commercially. I know that the development prototypes are flying now.

The usefulness of one these for SpaceX pre flight operations would depend on it's cost and capability. The units claim to be able to lift 30 tons vertically. Would a 30 ton vertical takeoff limit be sufficient to lift an unfueled but integrated F9 or FH? Does anyone have a ballpark cost for a Hybrid Air Vehicle?

More importantly, can you lift full an unfueled F9/FH with sling loading, or would it fold/spindle/mutilate in the process?  ;D

I've seen information on these which suggests that carrying cargo externally is possible for some distance, but at what range penalty, I don't know. I suspect that carrying the launcher externally is the only possibility.

If this is cost effective and has enough lift capability and an F9/FH can survive the trip, a lot more launch sites become available.

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7437
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 1446
  • Likes Given: 4499
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #97 on: 09/09/2011 05:51 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.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2011 05:59 PM by baldusi »

Offline Jason1701

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2238
  • Liked: 70
  • Likes Given: 39
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #98 on: 09/09/2011 05:52 PM »
Given that 40 of these airships are on order be delivered in 2014 to Canada (I think that it's in support of oil shale extraction ops), I submit that they will exist in the near future commercially. I know that the development prototypes are flying now.

The usefulness of one these for SpaceX pre flight operations would depend on it's cost and capability. The units claim to be able to lift 30 tons vertically. Would a 30 ton vertical takeoff limit be sufficient to lift an unfueled but integrated F9 or FH? Does anyone have a ballpark cost for a Hybrid Air Vehicle?

More importantly, can you lift full an unfueled F9/FH with sling loading, or would it fold/spindle/mutilate in the process?  ;D

I've seen information on these which suggests that carrying cargo externally is possible for some distance, but at what range penalty, I don't know. I suspect that carrying the launcher externally is the only possibility.

If this is cost effective and has enough lift capability and an F9/FH can survive the trip, a lot more launch sites become available.

F9 first stage best guess is 20-25 tons. That leaves some margin for a carrying platform, so it wouldn't have to be slung directly to the airship.

Offline corrodedNut

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1542
  • Liked: 213
  • Likes Given: 130
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #99 on: 09/09/2011 06:03 PM »
Given that 40 of these airships are on order be delivered in 2014 to Canada (I think that it's in support of oil shale extraction ops), I submit that they will exist in the near future commercially. I know that the development prototypes are flying now.

The usefulness of one these for SpaceX pre flight operations would depend on it's cost and capability. The units claim to be able to lift 30 tons vertically. Would a 30 ton vertical takeoff limit be sufficient to lift an unfueled but integrated F9 or FH? Does anyone have a ballpark cost for a Hybrid Air Vehicle?

More importantly, can you lift full an unfueled F9/FH with sling loading, or would it fold/spindle/mutilate in the process?  ;D

I've seen information on these which suggests that carrying cargo externally is possible for some distance, but at what range penalty, I don't know. I suspect that carrying the launcher externally is the only possibility.

If this is cost effective and has enough lift capability and an F9/FH can survive the trip, a lot more launch sites become available.

F9 first stage best guess is 20-25 tons. That leaves some margin for a carrying platform, so it wouldn't have to be slung directly to the airship.

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

Tags: