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2 hours ago, Beccab said:

People are now speculating it isn't actually a test tank but a storage one, possibly for water. We'll have to wait and see

Maybe they are finaly building a watertower.

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We're at 12 now! For unknown reasons B4 is getting its raptors back

 

Elon also gave a Starbase tour to the creator of Doom, Wolfstein 3d and Quake as well as founder of Armadillo aerospace

Edit: also Commander Keen

The primary test date (today) has been cancelled, 25th and 26th of august are still on

 

Finally, spacex received some Kuka robots to Starbase, perhaps for tile installation?index.php?action=dlattach;topic=52398.0;

COPV aerocover spotted for the first time!

Edited by Beccab
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unverified/unofficial news, but currently SpaceX is checking the windows nearby at South Padre to ensure they are hurricane proof, likely to ensure they can resist the Starship full stack launch.

On the topic of hurricanes, one of those or a tropical storm is becoming increasingly likely to hit the area next week, although we will be reasonably sure of that only between Friday and Sunday

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5 minutes ago, Minmus Taster said:

So your saying that SpaceX is going to build tunnels that can fit 15 story buildings MINIMUM!?!?

My sarcasm/humor detector is not working today. If you are being funny than that is actually really funny. But if you are being serious, my understanding is that this tunnel will not be for starship transportation, it will be for general road traffic, so there is an alternate route during road closures that doesn't take way too long to bypass Starbase.

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Between the ocean and the water table, that tunnel will take a lot of effort to keep dry.

I wonder if a 2-lane tunnel or 2 1-lane tunnels would be easier.

How long would the tunnel need to be to allow unrestricted usage during flight operations?

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4 minutes ago, Terwin said:

Between the ocean and the water table, that tunnel will take a lot of effort to keep dry.

I wonder if a 2-lane tunnel or 2 1-lane tunnels would be easier.

How long would the tunnel need to be to allow unrestricted usage during flight operations?

My first thought as well.  Boondoggle.

Just build a 'jetwash berm' however many miles long and call it a day.   MUCH cheaper

 

Heck - using 'tilt-up' concrete wall construction techniques - they could build a building/ tunnel with a light covering of topsoil cheaper than trying to tunnel and keep dry for any reasonable length of time.

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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1 minute ago, Terwin said:

Between the ocean and the water table, that tunnel will take a lot of effort to keep dry.

I wonder if a 2-lane tunnel or 2 1-lane tunnels would be easier.

How long would the tunnel need to be to allow unrestricted usage during flight operations?

No length would help there as far as I understand, the whole beach should be closed when the full stack launches

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Unrelated to the current discussion - but I finally watched the EDA videos about SLS/Starship and the Raptor engine (1 y.o & 2 y.o., respectively).  It's striking to see just how dated they are after only one year.

 

https://everydayastronaut.com/sls-vs-starship/ 

https://everydayastronaut.com/raptor-engine/

That's what I find so fascinating about SX's pace.  From a spectator standpoint... it's stunning.

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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1 hour ago, Ultimate Steve said:

My sarcasm/humor detector is not working today. If you are being funny than that is actually really funny.

Il leave it ambiguous as to if I was being serious :wink:

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1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

My first thought as well.  Boondoggle.

Just build a 'jetwash berm' however many miles long and call it a day.   MUCH cheaper

 

Heck - using 'tilt-up' concrete wall construction techniques - they could build a building/ tunnel with a light covering of topsoil cheaper than trying to tunnel and keep dry for any reasonable length of time.

Problem here is environmental impact. Most of the closures are simply for outsize load transport, the "easiest" solution would just be to drastically widen the existing road or build an entirely new, private road for SpaceX use only. But to do either one, especially the latter, they'd be doing some serious encroachment into the surrounding wetlands, which would no doubt drive the "local" environmentalist NIMBYs apoplectic, if such projects could even get approved. 

So in the end, the real-world "path of least resistance" model might indeed be a finicky tunnel. Convenient that Musk also just so happens to be connected to a fledgling tunnel-boring company, which might even welcome to chance to expand its knowledge on how to build such a difficult tunnel, since dealing with such situations will no doubt become a factor in their expansion plans down the road... or through the tunnel...-_-

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1 hour ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

So in the end, the real-world "path of least resistance" model might indeed be a finicky tunnel. Convenient that Musk also just so happens to be connected to a fledgling tunnel-boring company, which might even welcome to chance to expand its knowledge on how to build such a difficult tunnel, since dealing with such situations will no doubt become a factor in their expansion plans down the road... or through the tunnel...-_-

Of they build two tunnels, they could fix the water incursion problem easily by simply enclosing each of the tunnels in a steel tube that runs the entire length. I think I know of a company somewhere in that area with an affinity for welding 9 m steel tubes.

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3 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

Of they build two tunnels, they could fix the water incursion problem easily by simply enclosing each of the tunnels in a steel tube that runs the entire length. I think I know of a company somewhere in that area with an affinity for welding 9 m steel tubes.

I think their tunnels are closer to F9 diameter, though.

(because tunneling machines also travel by road)

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2 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Problem here is environmental impact. Most of the closures are simply for outsize load transport, the "easiest" solution would just be to drastically widen the existing road or build an entirely new, private road for SpaceX use only. But to do either one, especially the latter, they'd be doing some serious encroachment into the surrounding wetlands, which would no doubt drive the "local" environmentalist NIMBYs apoplectic, if such projects could even get approved.

It's a bit much to be talking about "environmentalist NIMBYs" when SpaceX picked a spot right next to a wildlife refuge knowing full well that it was right next a wildlife refuge.

If they didn't want to have to worry about stuff like that, they should have picked a different location.

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13 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

It's a bit much to be talking about "environmentalist NIMBYs" when SpaceX picked a spot right next to a wildlife refuge knowing full well that it was right next a wildlife refuge.

If they didn't want to have to worry about stuff like that, they should have picked a different location.

There’s literally nowhere they can go on the east coast that isn’t going to rustle someone’s jimmies. It’s either protected land of one sort or another, too close to populations, or too far from road access, which would require its own sessions of jimmy rustling to build the needed roads. See @tater’s post up-thread for a proper dissertation on perceived (by a certain set of people) impacts to sensitive areas vs actual impacts. The wildlife at KSC ain’t exactly teetering on the brink… <_<

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23 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

It's a bit much to be talking about "environmentalist NIMBYs" when SpaceX picked a spot right next to a wildlife refuge knowing full well that it was right next a wildlife refuge.

If they didn't want to have to worry about stuff like that, they should have picked a different location.

Where else would you propose?  It's gotta be on an eastern shoreline, and as far south as possible, and be undeveloped, yet have a road to it.  Florida's east coast is pretty much all taken up, which leaves Texas.  There don't appear (to my unexpert eye) to be many options that meet those criteria.

EDIT: Ninja'd by CatastrophicFailure.

Edited by zolotiyeruki
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59 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

It's a bit much to be talking about "environmentalist NIMBYs" when SpaceX picked a spot right next to a wildlife refuge knowing full well that it was right next a wildlife refuge.

If they didn't want to have to worry about stuff like that, they should have picked a different location.

What % of US coast in the south is either refuge, or covered with beach houses?

 

Assume SpaceX spent a decade slowly buying up a few hundred contiguous acres worth of beach houses, bars and restaurants on South Padre Island, as an example. Wait, they'd then have to buy every property within a few miles for hazard area (or make those people evacuate). Then the beach... also always open to the public except for specific, allowed closures by law (you can own a beach house, the beach in front is still public).

They have traded one set of problems for a worse one. Maybe when investigating the state might have suggested the barely inhabited area as preferable?

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Look, I'm just saying, if somebody knowingly builds their spaceport next to a wildlife refuge, they have no moral high ground to stand on and complain about environmentalist concerns. They picked the location; they deal with the consequences of their choice.

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https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261400960_Ecological_Impacts_of_the_Space_Shuttle_Program_at_John_F_Kennedy_Space_Center_Florida

This is interesting regarding the "truth" behind the environmental impact of KSC. I put truth in quotation marks because I dislike the use of such a word, and all I mean by "the truth" is something actually based on data instead of "I saw some animals when I went to KSC so it's all good".

There are indeed negative affects on wildlife in the area but it is either non-threatening to the affected species as a whole or is mitigated through certain practices.

Quote

KSC provides nesting habitat to three species of marine turtles, loggerheads, green turtles, and leatherbacks.  Light pollution at night from facilities and operations continues to be a problem along the nesting beach causing disorientations of both adult females and hatchlings.  

These are also complemented by some positive affects on the area. Due to degradation of the lagoon and the increase of the population elsewhere, the KSC section of the Banana River became a sanctuary for Manatees (an endangered species). ET transport and SRB recovery ops were not known to cause harm to the manatees.

That said, these positive effects are not a given- rocketry does not just happen to be nice on the environment. NASA has deliberately worked to reduce its environmental impact, as indicated by these quotes from the paper-

Quote

Major positive Space Shuttle Program effects were derived from the adequate resources available at the Center to implement the numerous environmental laws and regulations designed to enhance the quality of the environment and minimize impacts from human activities.

Quote

KSC remains the single largest ecological preserve on the east coast of Florida in large part due to NASA’s commitment to Stewardship.

This "tree hugger problem" (which is what I would describe it as based on many of the forum members' reaction and SpaceX's silence on the issue) could be solved by SpaceX's openness. If SpaceX, with outside assistance, were to do a report like the above, concerns on both sides would be basically gone. SpaceX would also need to show what they are doing to mitigate their environmental impact.

I would very much like them to do so, and it would be good for themselves too, but unfortunately I am skeptical this will ever happen. SpaceX's fast development style does not sound like it mixes with environmental awareness, and "a Musk company"'s previous attempts to mitigate public concerns over its project began on a good note (attempting to reduce the albedo of Starlink satellites) but if I recall correctly, it ended in a Starlink rep saying something to the effect of "it is time for professional and amateur astronomers to cease their sense of entitlement over the night sky".

On the other hand, unlike the night sky, wildlife is actually protected by law, so even if SpaceX does nothing, if environmentalists can get the data together, they probably can find some way to halt Starbase operations. And the signs are not good. A quote from a CBS article linked earlier by @JoeSchmuckatelli-

Quote

David Newstead, director of the bird program at the nonprofit Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, told Acevedo he's seen changes in the refuge since SpaceX began their operations.

Newstead said that where there used to be a dozen or more nests, starting last year they only found two. "And this year, there was only one," he added. 

SpaceX should engage with these environmentalists and take at least some environmental protection measures now while they can, instead of waiting until there is an obvious "dead zone" around Boca Chica and "missing species" and SpaceX forever has its name tarnished.

In addition, there is a good argument against the "because KSC does it it is ok" argument in defence of Starbase. KSC was established when "dilution is the solution to pollution" was a thing and environmental protection laws were virtually non-existent. KSC has become necessary for national security reasons and actually takes measures to reduce its impact on the environment, so nothing can be done about it, but there is no logical reason why SpaceX should be allowed to "do it again" in Boca Chica, especially if it does nothing to minimize its impact on the environment, and especially if it is just a glorified testing center (as of August 2021). SpaceX has to prove they will do their best to minimize their impact, or they may as well be another evil corporation, blatantly disregarding the will of the public and the environment for their own interests.

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2 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

SpaceX should engage with these environmentalists

Best way to head off problems is to address them before they get out of hand. 

Exxon does this - and believe it or not, it helps them. 

(Yes, I chose the big boogieman on purpose... But they are also pretty easy to check out vis working with environmentalists, checkered history and all) 

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