Main Engine Cut Off

Notes on Gwynne Shotwell’s Talk at Stanford

SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell gave a talk at Stanford last night, and several redditors were in attendance. They’ve posted their notes over at r/spacex, and there are some really interesting tidbits in there.

The two most interesting things of note were regarding BFR, from /u/Sticklefront.

On its production location:

We’re looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we’d build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5 million per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn’t be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites.

And on its launch site:

Pad 39A will be used for Falcon Heavy launches and crew flights

Boca Chica launch site under construction is the "perfect location for BFR"

She did not mention anything else about Boca Chica other than its prime suitability for BFR

I had speculated on the podcast last week with Chris Gebhardt that Boca Chica would be focused on BFR from the start. Given Tom Ochinero’s recent comments about SpaceX not needing a fourth launch site for Falcon, it makes perfect sense to go forward with Boca Chica as BFR’s first launch site.

And thinking about it more, Boca Chica is the perfect place to work out landings back on the launch mount. Trying to pull that initial testing off at 39A would be a non-starter as far as NASA is concerned.