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New BFR Production Facility

Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
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Jan 31, 2012
6,170
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
News is leaking out about SpaceX's new BFR production facility at the Port of Los Angeles. Here is a tweet with a picture of the facility.

Michael Baylor on Twitter

Credit to /u/OGquaker for the find.
Click to expand...​
DYqdNwPW0AAJOC5.jpg


DYqdbvhXcAEZvcv.jpg
 
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ecarfan

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Sep 21, 2013
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West Vancouver, British Columbia
Great find! But who was it determined that the building with the “Southwest Marine” sign is owned by SpaceX, and that is where the BFR will be built?

I believe Elon has stated that the first BFR is under construction now. That building doesn’t look very functional. I’ve always assumed what he means is that some individual parts of the first BFR are in progress.
 
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Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
6,170
7,999
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Great find! But who was it determined that the building with the “Southwest Marine” sign is owned by SpaceX, and that is where the BFR will be built?

I believe Elon has stated that the first BFR is under construction now. That building doesn’t look very functional. I’ve always assumed what he means is that some individual parts of the first BFR are in progress.

There is confirmation on public documents. It seems that SpaceX even created a shell company to hide this facility. Facebook SpaceX group wouldn't post the information if it wasn't public enough that has gone beyond keeping it secret, so I felt okay with posting it here too.

I think they are doing improvements from the inside out. The pictures are both from Google Maps so the pictures can be out of date for what the facility looks like now. I expect that this facility is focused on the larger pieces of BFR. Smaller bits like the engines are probably done in Hawthorne.

Elon has said and even Gwynne has confirmed that progress is moving along very quickly. The company probably has a better idea of what it will take to bring things together than back when they were focused on starting from scratch with F1 and F9. Elon can be very optimistic on timetables but Gwynne is usually pretty down to Earth about them. So next year to begin testing, maybe...
 
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Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
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Jan 31, 2012
6,170
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Here’s a somewhat more zoomed in view of that location in Google Maps. I wonder if SpaceX has purchased/leaded that entire area? I would guess so. They are going to need a lot of space. This is exciting! :)

Looking at the greyed area in my map and compare it to your close up map, you can see there is a fence along the upper section. It runs just below the building with the hole in the roof. If I am correct then the space has 12 individual buildings, three cranes, and a big pile of dirt on it. Three of buildings are directly connected to another building. You can tell by comparing the shadows in your two different pictures.

If I remember correctly, there are permits for "improvements" to the property which means that SpaceX will be tearing down and adding things needed for their purposes.

Edit: If you go to a street viewing, the buildings that are there are really beat up and likely not too usable. Now that everyone is aware that SpaceX owns this property, I expect the company will come out of stealth mode and fix the place up quick. It's a big property with some big buildings on it.

The property includes a power substation...

2nd edit: Looking at the area on Google Maps, it's a really run down section of the terminal. It's placed very well near the entrance. SpaceX probably bought it for nothing and turning it into a major manufacturing facility will be an impressive feat.

Good article about this:
SpaceX BFR Construction Site Identified? – Chris Rogers – Medium
 
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Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
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Jan 31, 2012
6,170
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
The paperwork indicates that SpaceX is leasing the section with the buildings. They aren't needing the two ship pens next to the property that used to be used by Southwest Marine. SpaceX has stated in the documentation that ships (ASDS) will be docking at the facility and offloading recovered transportation or some kind of wording like that. What it means is that SpaceX will be also using the facility for recovered boosters. I expect it will become the main refurbishment center for the West Coast leaving the Hawthorne factory to focus on new manufacturing.

As can be seen in the pictures, the nearby properties seem to be being used but, if SpaceX ends up needing those properties for expansion, then they could probably get those properties as well. SpaceX may end up needing the ship pens as well sometime in the future. It's still early but SpaceX plans are not small.
 
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Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
6,170
7,999
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The deal for the property is worked out. The tweet includes a link to the full 121 page lease agreement.
Michael Baylor on Twitter

Discussions between SpaceX and the Port of LA began in 2015. At that time there were other potential locations for BFR construction.

SpaceX will pay $1,381,411 a year for land on Terminal Island in San Pedro to construct BFR. The deal was announced today and will be formally approved during a Board of Harbor Commissioners meeting on Thursday.

Functionally, they actually won't have to pay any real rent for a good 21 years, thanks to how the kickbacks from improving the site figure in.
plans.jpg


So SpaceX got most of the adjacent property too.
 
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Brando

Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
3,049
2,269
Bainbridge Island, WA
Hope they consider sea level rise mitigation. How much rise is possible each decade for the next 3 decades?

As governments always try to avoid panics, I'm going to suspect these are lower limits.
Ice sheet collapses, loss of land glaciers and melting of frozen methane are not well understood and therefore the results are highly variable. Are we already past tipping points? We can all hope not.

NASA Sea Level Change Portal: Projections

From only a quick overview, seems they are hoping <1 meter by 2100. Hope they are right.
Others who actually keep up/study these things could perhaps comment. thanks.
 
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ecarfan

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Moderator
Sep 21, 2013
19,505
14,528
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I think this new BFR factory site will be okay for at least 50 years even if the most pessimistic sea level rise forecasts come true. Which is plenty of time to build over hundred spacecraft to kick off the Mars settlement project.

I am certain that within the next 15 years SpaceX will build a second BFR factory, probably at Boca Chica TX. Makes sense to build them where you launch them, like BO is doing in Florida.
 

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