Author Topic: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5  (Read 240112 times)

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #80 on: 06/10/2017 06:35 PM »
I was only thinking of the highly skilled workforce which presumably doesn't want to be relocated to boca chica.

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

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #81 on: 06/12/2017 11:28 AM »
Port gains expansion ally
http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_a71d88c8-4f1b-11e7-8039-1b955ce05c1e.html
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With the passage of CSHB 4021, ports across Texas will have access to a ship channel improvement revolving fund...

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

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

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

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

The current channel’s depth is 42 feet. Deepening the channel would cost about $200 million, and an additional $50 million to upgrade the docks.

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #82 on: 06/13/2017 11:57 AM »
More news on amphitheater to view SpaceX launches.
http://valleycentral.com/news/local/isla-blanca-park-to-get-new-amenities-amphitheater
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The idea to build the structure was initially brought before commissioners’ court after SpaceX announced they would be launching rockets out of Boca Chica. Eventually, the idea expanded to develop an entire master plan that would give an uplift to the area as a whole...

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

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

A previous news article specified a more exact location for the amphitheater:
Quote
Dolphin Cove at Isla Blanca Park is the proposed site for a sea and air amphitheater.

Dolphin Cove is shown on the map below.

Note that South Padre Island is a very popular resort with many large hotels, most notably the Pearl, also shown below.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 11:59 AM by Dave G »

Online SPITexas

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #83 on: 06/14/2017 12:45 AM »
More news on amphitheater to view SpaceX launches.
http://valleycentral.com/news/local/isla-blanca-park-to-get-new-amenities-amphitheater
Quote
The idea to build the structure was initially brought before commissioners’ court after SpaceX announced they would be launching rockets out of Boca Chica. Eventually, the idea expanded to develop an entire master plan that would give an uplift to the area as a whole...

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

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

A previous news article specified a more exact location for the amphitheater:
Quote
Dolphin Cove at Isla Blanca Park is the proposed site for a sea and air amphitheater.

Dolphin Cove is shown on the map below.

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

Yea, I heard they where going to start major Renovations to that place next year. On Dolphin cove and Isla Blanca people who live there weren't to happy about that.  There doing that also because of SpaceX Launches which is good.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #84 on: 06/14/2017 01:42 AM »
 STARGATE is showing some signs of life. It looks like they're bringing in stuff for the 2nd floor inside along with really slow window installation.

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #85 on: 06/14/2017 05:26 PM »
A paper form of the ITS presentation was published at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu

Relavant to this thread:

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

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

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

EDIT: attached the paper.
« Last Edit: 06/14/2017 05:26 PM by envy887 »

Offline Elvis in Space

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #86 on: 06/14/2017 05:39 PM »
A paper form of the ITS presentation was published at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu

Relavant to this thread:

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

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

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

Does "south coast of Texas" necessarily mean Boca Chica?
Cheeseburgers on Mars!

Offline whitelancer64

A paper form of the ITS presentation was published at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu

Relavant to this thread:

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

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

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

EDIT: attached the paper.

"probably"
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #88 on: 06/14/2017 05:52 PM »
Does "south coast of Texas" necessarily mean Boca Chica?

It could mean offshore. SpaceX looked at other sites up the coast and did not pursue them for various reasons spelled out in the EIS. I doubt they would build another coastal site unless Boca Chica and offshore both prove infeasible.

Online toren

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #89 on: 06/14/2017 07:12 PM »
Another interesting passage from the paper...

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

Bold-face is mine.

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #90 on: 06/14/2017 07:18 PM »
Another interesting passage from the paper...

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

Bold-face is mine.

Remember the speech took place last year in September.

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #91 on: 06/14/2017 07:21 PM »
Another interesting passage from the paper...

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

Bold-face is mine.

It's not clear what year that's referring to, and I think it's early 2017. The paper was published in June 2017, but the contents are entirely from the presentation in Sept 2016. Musk said "3 to 4 months" a couple days ago on twitter, that is probably much more current than anything from IAC.

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #92 on: 06/15/2017 10:29 AM »
So the intent to fly ITS from Boca Chica is quite clear.

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

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

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

But as we go to future rockets that are bigger than that, we would actually do the manufacturing at the launch site, or near the launch site, because otherwise the road transportation logistics become... Essentially you'd either have to put it on a big ship or build it near the launch site.  The logical thing is to build it near the launch site.  So that is something that would occur where ever this launch site occurs.

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

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

You can see the discussion about building BFR / ITS in Texas here, starting around 40 seconds into the video:
« Last Edit: 06/15/2017 10:32 AM by Dave G »

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #93 on: 06/15/2017 11:03 AM »
Does "south coast of Texas" necessarily mean Boca Chica?

It could mean offshore.

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

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

Purely speculation:

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

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

2) World class seaport, capable of handling huge ships (aircraft carriers, oil drilling rigs, etc.).  Setting up a manufacturing facility along this port would easily allow BFR to be shipped to the KSC, VAFB, etc.   There are also new highways specifically built to handle freight to/from the seaport, bypassing Brownsville's city center.

3) An international airport for getting people to/from Brownsville, and for air freight.  Note that this airport is just 5 miles from the seaport.  Very convenient.  They're also going to extend the main runway in order to handle large air freight.

4) A state university campus with a budding space engineering department.  Note that SpaceX and UT Brownsville are already working together on the STARGATE tracking center, just 2 miles from the launch site.  Lots of future synergy also possible there.

5) Some local talent.  The area now has some local aerospace machine shops, and ULA also has a manufacturing plant just 15 miles away in Harlingen.

6) Available land is plentiful and cheap.  Lots of room to expand.  Low property taxes.  Low taxes in general.

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

To be clear, Brownsville wouldn't have been my first thought for building rockets, but after digging deeper, it seems to have all the right ingredients.
« Last Edit: 06/15/2017 11:23 AM by Dave G »

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #94 on: 06/15/2017 02:54 PM »

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


Then explain Hawthorne?

Offline Jim_LAX

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #95 on: 06/15/2017 03:59 PM »
Because Hawthorne was a good place to get started.
1. Lots of experienced Aerospace Engineers and Techs in the LAX/El Segundo/Hawthorne area.
2. Buildings available at Hawthorne Airport, and room to expand into more buildings along the length of the Hawthorne runway.
Now that design and mfg are well established it would be costly to move to another state.
"I don't go along with going to the Moon first in order to build a launch pad to go to Mars.  We should go to Mars from Earth orbit."

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #96 on: 06/15/2017 05:10 PM »
Now that design and mfg are well established it would be costly to move to another state.

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

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

Offline RoboGoofers

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #97 on: 06/15/2017 05:24 PM »
They'll also be launching ITS from Florida. They might build it there and barge to Texas instead of vice versa.

Building the ITS in Texas would be a good carrot to dangle in front of the legislature in order to get them to lift the restrictions on number of launches and closure of the beach.
« Last Edit: 06/15/2017 05:29 PM by RoboGoofers »

Offline Nomadd

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #98 on: 06/15/2017 06:37 PM »
They'll also be launching ITS from Florida. They might build it there and barge to Texas instead of vice versa.

Building the ITS in Texas would be a good carrot to dangle in front of the legislature in order to get them to lift the restrictions on number of launches and closure of the beach.
The state of Texas isn't restricting the number of launches.  They might be waiting for more environmental data to amend the EIS. With four launch pads going, they probably won't be in that much of a hurry. Maybe five if they start using 39b. But with weather and range issues affecting all of the Florida pads at once, Boca Chica will still be pretty important. If they shift most of the commercial F9 and FH geo launches here, I'd think they'd want to be able to do at least 24 a year.
« Last Edit: 06/15/2017 06:42 PM by Nomadd »

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 5
« Reply #99 on: 06/15/2017 07:00 PM »
Now that design and mfg are well established it would be costly to move to another state.

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

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

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

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