Author Topic: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6  (Read 505472 times)

Online Dave G

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
  • Liked: 958
  • Likes Given: 1184
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #520 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.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2017 10:04 PM by Dave G »

Online Dave G

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
  • Liked: 958
  • Likes Given: 1184
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #521 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.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3504
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1901
  • Likes Given: 227
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #522 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.

Online Dave G

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
  • Liked: 958
  • Likes Given: 1184
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #523 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

Online philw1776

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1104
  • Seacoast NH
  • Liked: 740
  • Likes Given: 314
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #524 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.
ďWhen it looks more like an alien dreadnought, thatís when you know youíve won.Ē

Offline Nomadd

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Liked: 5617
  • Likes Given: 353
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #525 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.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 03:09 AM by Nomadd »

Online Dave G

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
  • Liked: 958
  • Likes Given: 1184
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #526 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.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2017 11:20 PM by Dave G »

Offline Nomadd

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Liked: 5617
  • Likes Given: 353
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #527 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.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10784
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 7692
  • Likes Given: 5532
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #528 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...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online Dave G

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
  • Liked: 958
  • Likes Given: 1184
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #529 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?

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10784
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 7692
  • Likes Given: 5532
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #530 on: 12/16/2017 02:21 AM »
Yeah, more than that. Those spheres together look like at most 2 loads....
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online Dave G

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
  • Liked: 958
  • Likes Given: 1184
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #531 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.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10784
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 7692
  • Likes Given: 5532
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #532 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.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Jdeshetler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 648
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Liked: 2123
  • Likes Given: 1540
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #533 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?

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10784
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 7692
  • Likes Given: 5532
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #534 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)?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online Dave G

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
  • Liked: 958
  • Likes Given: 1184
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #535 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.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 12:44 PM by Dave G »

Offline Johnnyhinbos

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1390
  • Boston, MA
  • Liked: 1614
  • Likes Given: 222
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #536 on: 12/16/2017 01:42 PM »
Thereís no footings under this slab. Instead itís laying directly on the ground. Thatís why itís 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.
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline Nomadd

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Boca Chica, Texas
  • Liked: 5617
  • Likes Given: 353
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #537 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.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 02:19 PM by Nomadd »

Online wannamoonbase

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3086
  • Denver, CO
    • U.S. Metric Association
  • Liked: 748
  • Likes Given: 1208
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #538 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.
Needing a copy of 'Tales of Suspense #39'

Offline RotoSequence

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1066
  • Liked: 752
  • Likes Given: 865
Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #539 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?

Tags: