Author Topic: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)  (Read 50170 times)

Offline Craig_VG

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #40 on: 03/20/2018 12:45 am »
Here is more detailed information on construction for the individual phases

Offline Craig_VG

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #41 on: 03/20/2018 12:50 am »
Image 1: These dates are notional, but once construction commences it gives an idea of their plans for each phase.

Image 2: And of course you have to power your autoclave that will make Methane rockets with Methane.

Image 3: Building design
« Last Edit: 03/20/2018 01:16 am by Craig_VG »

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #42 on: 03/20/2018 01:23 am »
Tragically, the authors gave all timeline estimates based on the assumption that SpaceX would push directly to the full factory/Phase 2, so they're likely a bit too short for Phase 2 completion and a bit too long for Phase 1 completion. Like the Gigafactory, I expect something like 9-12 months of construction/tooling installation followed by around 6-12 months of stability in the Phase 1 config, and finally an expansion to the final Phase 2 size once BFR design and manufacturing processes have been validated and finalized.

Based on the renders in the report (99.9% confident that they and the architectural drawings show the smaller Phase 1 building), the facility appears very similar to the HIFs SpaceX (or the contractors they rely on) have a considerable amount of experience building - the largest at 39A went from nothing (not certain about what, if any, foundation work was needed) to a completed structure in something 10-12 months. The 39A HIF is something like 290x120x80 feet, whereas Building A in the drafting blueprints is shown as approximately 350x200x100 feet.

The final draft, published the day the proposal was approved, also puts the beginning of construction activities NET April 2018. Still a whole cadre of permits needed, but those are more a matter of time with the Port's approval. I'd expect demolition/construction to begin in earnest in April or May.

Edit: craig pls, y u gotta ninja me
« Last Edit: 03/20/2018 01:28 am by vaporcobra »

Offline Rocket Surgeon

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #43 on: 03/20/2018 02:15 am »
Is there some reason why engineering talent would not want to live in Florida? Surely the need for the whole Panama canal trip adds a lot of extra cost and complexity to the entire process. Why not just keep your construction on the east coast, close to your various launch pads? Isn't that what Blue Origin is going to do with their New Glenn factory?

What makes California so much more appealing that a sea voyage around an entire continent is still not too high a price to pay for having your factory there?

Lots of great answers to this already, and I'll add "SPEED" to it. They are already shifting existing resources from Falcon 9/H and other programs over to BFR/BFS, and those people don't even need to move their desk in order to start that work.

The construction phase will eventually require personnel to relocate from Hawthorne down to the Port of Los Angeles, but that isn't far, and it's still easy to shift personnel around between all their other projects.

Once they understand what they really want to build, and how they really want to build it, then yes, Musk has already talked about setting up a factory near the launch site. But they don't know that yet, which means they don't know what type of personnel they need yet - so it's cheaper and faster to just do the work locally. Shipping is cheap in comparison.

Also worth noting, making these in Florida wins out as a location only if you're always going to be launching from Florida. If they're serious about the point-to-point transport, or even just for a high volume of space launches, then they may want these puppies to go global. If that's the case, then you're going to have to do a lot of shipping anyway so you might as well build it where the talent is rather than where the launch pad currently is (going to be). Maybe in 10-20 years they'll be looking at building launch pads in other countries like Australia? (Hey! I can dream!)

Offline QuantumG

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #44 on: 03/20/2018 02:26 am »
Maybe in 10-20 years they'll be looking at building launch pads in other countries like Australia? (Hey! I can dream!)

Launch and landing pads. There's a reason why Elon talked about Point-to-Point after flying to Adelaide.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #45 on: 03/20/2018 03:02 am »
The door looks to be roughly 40ft or 12m wide and 52 feet tall.
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Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #46 on: 03/20/2018 03:29 am »
Humm - if only there was a way to ferry Hawthorne employees down to the BFR/BFS factory (which I shall now dubb “BFF” - you figure it out...) at the Port of LA.

If only Elon had some kind of transportation company that could, I dunno, like dig...

Naw, never mind. Completely impossible.
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Offline Rocket Surgeon

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #47 on: 03/20/2018 04:10 am »
Maybe in 10-20 years they'll be looking at building launch pads in other countries like Australia? (Hey! I can dream!)

Launch and landing pads. There's a reason why Elon talked about Point-to-Point after flying to Adelaide.

Even better!

Offline docmordrid

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #48 on: 03/20/2018 04:11 am »
Damn....this conversation went from "maybe" to "BABY!!" in record time 😋

So, the proposed timetable shows June 2017 as a start time and ~3 months for cleanup and demo work then a year of construction.

Ambitious....and it begs the question of where they're building the first  Spaceship(s)? Under that tent-like structure?
DM

Offline Rocket Surgeon

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #49 on: 03/20/2018 04:12 am »
The door looks to be roughly 40ft or 12m wide and 52 feet tall.

I wouldn't be surprised if they've planned a little bit of future proofing I.E. if they ever get up to 2016 ITS size, they can do it there, if not they have space to move they're existing design.

Offline mme

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #50 on: 03/20/2018 04:22 am »
It's only a $150,000 fee to go through the Panama canal.  That'd be cheaper than employee relocation for some time to come.

There's more relevantly skilled potential employees in California.

Real reason is probably that it's closer to Elons house. :)
And Tom Mueller's house. And Gwynne Shotwell's house. And the houses of 6,000+ existing, working, trained and motivated employees.

And Musk loves to have production and engineering close together.

Ok, good points. But this leaves me with a question about refurbishment. Where are returned Falcon 9 cores currently refurbished? I assume they go back to the factory to have any required restoration work done. Now, I know the idea is that BFR won't need major refurbishment for hundreds of flights, but that is probably an end goal rather than an immediate achievement from day one.

So, when a BFR has just landed and unexpectedly needs an engine replaced, or some other significant repair work done, can that be done at the landing site over on the east coast?  Or will it need to be shipped through the Panama canal back to the LA factory? And meanwhile the BFS is waiting up in orbit for its 5 fuel tankers to fill it up for its flight to Mars.

How would that scenario work?
I don't see this as any different than GM having production in a limited set of plants but service centers all over the US. Same for Boeing, it has factories but the airlines can do most work on the airplane. The rocket will be designed to be repaired and they'll have the facilities for maintenance on site. Swapping an engine is not the same as building or even repairing the airframe.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #51 on: 03/20/2018 04:31 am »
The door looks to be roughly 40ft or 12m wide and 52 feet tall.

Hmmmmmm. After an hour in Photoshop attempting to quantify the building schematics from Mulder and Kalkov, it just doesn't add up. The aspect ratio of the building shown in the schematics doesn't match either the full plot or "Building A" shown in the drafting blueprint. Extrapolating from the blueprint's dimensions for Building A (350x180x90/105 feet), assuming that the project elevations map shows Building A, the garage doors would be ~30 foot squares - too small for BFS without even considering the delta wing. If we instead assume that the entrance doors are the standard 80 inches, the garage doors would be more like ~42 foot squares, but then the building's aspect ratio no longer fits anything in the Port's impact analyses (400x292x75 feet).

In general, the project elevations diagram is pretty sloppy and has several inconsistencies and misalignments, so I'm of a mind to more or less ignore it. In what world is it okay for an architectural schematic in a commissioned regulatory analysis to have no scale???

I'm not totally ruling out the possibility that I am insane and/or too tired and am just deeply confused, but I'll take that risk ;D
« Last Edit: 03/20/2018 04:31 am by vaporcobra »

Offline Jdeshetler

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #52 on: 03/20/2018 04:51 am »
In what world is it okay for an architectural schematic in a commissioned regulatory analysis to have no scale???

Yes since the architectural schematic is not "construction" drawing.

For now, JRTI barge and a row of BFRs & BFSs was thrown in for a sense of scale, again.

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #53 on: 03/20/2018 04:58 am »
In what world is it okay for an architectural schematic in a commissioned regulatory analysis to have no scale???

Yes since the architectural schematic is not "construction" drawing.

For now, JRTI barge and a row of BFRs & BFSs was thrown in for a sense of scale, again.

Ugh. Point taken, but as someone who appreciates accuracy and doing good work for the sake of good work, it absolutely kills me that that diagram made it into anything with the label "final" anywhere near it. I would understand if it had an explicit disclaimer and description acknowledging that it was a very rough mockup, but it's called "Proposed Project Elevations" by the authors. Perhaps I am misunderstanding what those words mean together, it's just intuitive to me that anything "proposing elevations" has no business being anything other than precise and accurate. :(
« Last Edit: 03/20/2018 04:59 am by vaporcobra »

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #54 on: 03/20/2018 05:26 am »
my guess is that the announced 'start of production' for the first prototype ship refers to components they're building in Hawthorne (maybe something is moving for prop tanks at Janicki too) and they plan to assemble it in the 'Phase I' building when it's completed.

As for boosters, subsequent spacecraft prototypes and first production versions I think the 'Phase II' facility could suffice for a while even into operational flights. It's likely they're aiming at relatively high reusability right from the first production vehicle, so low production levels would be enough initially. Then they may build bigger facilities closer to the launch sites.
 

I am actually pretty certain that phase one will be infrastructure for Falcon core recovery. The document mentioned that recovery ops would be moved to the new area, would be logical for the phase one building to replace the temporary tent. SpaceX will probably need a lot of space to integrate even BFS on its own, so would expect phase two before it is constructed (plus Falcon recovery ops are an immediate need, BFS still has some development and subsystem buildout to do before they need the giant integration facility)

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #55 on: 03/20/2018 05:48 am »
my guess is that the announced 'start of production' for the first prototype ship refers to components they're building in Hawthorne (maybe something is moving for prop tanks at Janicki too) and they plan to assemble it in the 'Phase I' building when it's completed.

As for boosters, subsequent spacecraft prototypes and first production versions I think the 'Phase II' facility could suffice for a while even into operational flights. It's likely they're aiming at relatively high reusability right from the first production vehicle, so low production levels would be enough initially. Then they may build bigger facilities closer to the launch sites.
 

I am actually pretty certain that phase one will be infrastructure for Falcon core recovery. The document mentioned that recovery ops would be moved to the new area, would be logical for the phase one building to replace the temporary tent. SpaceX will probably need a lot of space to integrate even BFS on its own, so would expect phase two before it is constructed (plus Falcon recovery ops are an immediate need, BFS still has some development and subsystem buildout to do before they need the giant integration facility)

The Port's study also included like five million boilerplate copies of this:
Quote
In addition, existing recovery operations of Space Exploration Technologies vehicles currently taking place within the Port would be accommodated at this location. The recovery operations involve a supply barge setting out from the Port to provide a remote landing platform in the Pacific Ocean for vehicles returning from space. The supply barge then returns to the Port with the vehicle for transfer to land and ultimately return to the Space Exploration Technologies manufacturing facility in Hawthorne for reuse.

Doesn't dismiss Falcon refurbishment as a possible use-case, but it certainly doesn't suggest that it's an imminent goal. The main rationale described for moving SpaceX's JRTI/recovery ops to Berth 240 is reducing congestion and improving flexibility for SpaceX and their previous neighbors. Upon consideration, it really does make sense that the San Pedro buildings would be almost 100% dedicated to BFR: the singular driver for its existence is the simple reality that BFR/BFS are too big to be routinely transported from Hawthorne to the Port of LA, whereas Falcon cores/fairings have been routinely shipped to and from VAFB/Port of San Pedro/anywhere in the continental US for like half a decade.

No reason to waste the capital and effort needed to make a brand new facility cross-compatible with the very rocket type you are trying to make obsolete ASAP.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2018 05:50 am by vaporcobra »

Online rsdavis9

Is there some reason why engineering talent would not want to live in Florida? Surely the need for the whole Panama canal trip adds a lot of extra cost and complexity to the entire process. Why not just keep your construction on the east coast, close to your various launch pads? Isn't that what Blue Origin is going to do with their New Glenn factory?

What makes California so much more appealing that a sea voyage around an entire continent is still not too high a price to pay for having your factory there?

Lots of great answers to this already, and I'll add "SPEED" to it. They are already shifting existing resources from Falcon 9/H and other programs over to BFR/BFS, and those people don't even need to move their desk in order to start that work.

The construction phase will eventually require personnel to relocate from Hawthorne down to the Port of Los Angeles, but that isn't far, and it's still easy to shift personnel around between all their other projects.

Once they understand what they really want to build, and how they really want to build it, then yes, Musk has already talked about setting up a factory near the launch site. But they don't know that yet, which means they don't know what type of personnel they need yet - so it's cheaper and faster to just do the work locally. Shipping is cheap in comparison.

Also worth noting, making these in Florida wins out as a location only if you're always going to be launching from Florida. If they're serious about the point-to-point transport, or even just for a high volume of space launches, then they may want these puppies to go global. If that's the case, then you're going to have to do a lot of shipping anyway so you might as well build it where the talent is rather than where the launch pad currently is (going to be). Maybe in 10-20 years they'll be looking at building launch pads in other countries like Australia? (Hey! I can dream!)

I think people are missing one thing about transport of BFS and BFR.
Once a BFS rolls off the assembly line it could be launched from vandenburg and stay in orbit until it can land at Boca Chica, the cape, or where ever.
Of course this wont happen immediately because they will have only one launch site in the beginning.

Now for the BFR maybe they could hop it from the west coast to Boca Chica then from Boca Chica to the cape?
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Offline philw1776

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #57 on: 03/20/2018 11:08 am »
No over populated land flights for any BFR for ages.
Cities like Boston are freaking out and stoping Uber driverless car tests because one person got killed in Arizona.
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Offline M.E.T.

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #58 on: 03/20/2018 11:30 am »
No over populated land flights for any BFR for ages.
Cities like Boston are freaking out and stoping Uber driverless car tests because one person got killed in Arizona.

Out of interest. How far can the booster actually hop if it doesn't have the weight of the BFS on top of it? In other words, can the booster come close to making orbit on its own?

Offline rakaydos

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Re: BFR Manufacturing Facility in San Pedro (Los Angeles)
« Reply #59 on: 03/20/2018 01:20 pm »
No over populated land flights for any BFR for ages.
Cities like Boston are freaking out and stoping Uber driverless car tests because one person got killed in Arizona.
Retrograde launch from vandemburg would give a sea approach to Canavral. BC is a bit trickier.

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