Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said the assembly would be “just a few weeks away” as he was busy breaking dozens of steel rings for the starship’s first super heavy booster.
At more than twice the height of Starship’s main propeller tank and engine compartment, the Super Heavy Boosters will stand at an incredible 70+ meters (230+ feet) when completed – the same height or height as the two-stage Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy. Unlike the StarShip, the Super Heavy has no angled nose section, and unlike the StarShip tanks – it is made entirely of simple steel rings.
Each is 9 m (ft 30 ft) in diameter and 1.8 m (ft 6 ft) high, and the SpaceX has 38 steel rings stacked to complete the super heavy propeller tanks, interstage and engine compartment. Notably, SpaceX is making great strides in making super heavy subsections, and the start of the first booster assembly will have to wait until a stack (“high bay”) is stacked high enough.
At least six confirmed parts of the first super heavy booster (SH1) have already been found in Boca Chic, thanks to the handy labels attached to each ring group and the attention of local resident and photographer Mary (also known as Bokachikagal). At two to four rings high, the first of those ring sections was found on September 22nd, and the other on the 28th.
In the first few days of October, it doubled into four, five, and six confirmed stacks, as well as several candidates with labels hidden from publicly accessible perspectives. Additionally, Musk’s recent note that the super oxygen boosters’ liquid oxygen tank will have “longitudinal stepheners” – also known as stringers – means that all three of the five ring stacks with stringers are candidates for Super Heavy # 1.
Assuming one of these three five-ring stacks is reserved for the first three starship nose sections, the SpaceX may already have 30+ super heavy rings – for a total of ~ 38 – awaiting completion of high bay construction.
At approximately 80 m (0 260 ft) high, the Boca Chikka High Bay of SpaceX is a closed gantry crane that will be used to assemble and use super heavy boosters – the final stages of production. SpaceX and its contractors began construction of the high bay in early July, and Musk says the building is only a few weeks away from completion. By October, the structure was mainly finished, as was the wall cladding. The roof of the building is almost half finished, leaving a little work before the power is turned on, leaving the HVAC and plumbing.
Surprisingly, the CEO of SpaceX also says that the high bay will eventually be equipped with a “giant gantry crane,” but the super heavy booster stacking will begin before then. In the meantime, there is a good chance that SpaceX will start stacking up Super Heavy subscriptions in the existing starship midbay, with a few large stacks left in the high bay to complete the first booster.
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