Space X Boca Chico Build & Launch Facility.

ngatimozart

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Wednesday night local time, Ship 20 was successfully stacked on SHB 4 using the Chop Sticks. This was the first time that this has been done. I did watch the live feed and it was quite quick taking about two hours from start to finish. The lift speed was quite quick.


Today Friday arvo NZ time Elon Musk gave a live presentation during which he talked more about the ultimate aim of the program, which is for the human race to be multi-planetary. He believes that for a Martian community to be fully self sustaining and survivable 1 million tons has to be lifted to it from Earth. It's quite a fascinating concept. Full video of the live presentation.


This is the animation that was played during the live presentation.


Starbase will be the R&D centre with operational business launches happening from Pad 39A at Cape Kennedy / Canaveral in Florida. They are building a second Mechazilla and ship / booster construction facility there. They are still awaiting FAA launch approval and hopefully the environmental sign off will occur in about two weeks or so.
 

Sandhi Yudha

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News reports are now appearing on the internet that Indonesia's president (and joining him also our beloved Minister of Maritime Affairs, Investments, Covid-19 and everything else) are visiting Space X and its impressive production facility. They are just talking about possible cooperation in the future, but big chance that this is just a sight seeing tour for fun and that nothing will happen after this visit.

According to TVOne, this is the first time a foreign head of state visited Space X. Here a shorter version of the video.


 
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ngatimozart

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There's been significant changes since the last post.

SpaceX has finally received FAA Final Environmental Assessment approval for launching rom its Boca Chica facility but with limitations. However it is still to receive the FAA Vehicle Operator License.

Boosters 4 & 5 along with Ship 20 have been set aside and no longer being used. Booster 5 and Ship 20 are in the Rocket Garden and Booster 4 is still in the launch area. The reason is that the Raptor I engines have been superseded by the Raptor II engines which offer significantly more power per engine. These have been installed in Booster 7 and Ship 24. Booster 7 is sitting on Orbital Launch Pad 1 at the moment undergoing testing and an engine test burn is due any day. Work has started on Orbital Launch Pad Two at Boca Chico as well. The wide high bay is just about finished, a new assembly building is underway and another building is being built. The yellow Liebherr LB11,000 crane has been dismantled and removed from site by the outside crane contractor, its work completed. It took them only a matter of a few days to dismantle it into truckable components and ship it out. SpaceX still have their LB11,000 crane. Of note SpaceX also used the Chopsticks to lift Booster 7 onto the launchpad from it's transporter. This is the first time that the Chopsticks have been used for that particular lift. They have lifted Booster 4 off the pad onto the transporter.




Work has also been ongoing at pace at SpaceX's Florida Kennedy Space Centre facility. The current plan is to use Boca Chico for R&D and Florida for the commercial launches. This is the latest report on activities at Kennedy Space Centre.

 

ngatimozart

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Space X were testing Booster 7 on the Orbital Launch Mount at Boca Chico today (NZ time) when an explosion occurred beneath the booster. No idea of the cause yet.

 

ngatimozart

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Space X did the first Super Heavy Booster static test fire today using Booster 7.


Booster 7 was moved back to the Launch Facility over the weekend but they had to use the Space X Leibherr crane to lift it on to the OLP because the Chopsticks blew one of the hydraulic ram hose attachments free from the actuator last Friday, spraying hydraulic fluid all over the place. They haven't replaced the ram yet.

Yesterday they were doing spin tests on both Booster 7 and Ship 24, so I suspect that Ship 24 will have had a static fire today or have one tomorrow. Booster 7 only had 20 engines installed when it arrived from the Megabay and they were on the outer rings.

EDIT: Yep Ship 24 did its static test fire as well.

 
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