Since Elon first tweeted about a larger high-bay coming to SpaceX’s Starbase we’ve been waiting for construction to begin. At last, the ground has been broken to start construction of the largest building yet at Starbase.
Elon said this new high bay will be “Only a little taller, but much bigger base & two gantry cranes that run full span.” The high bays are used to build the 50-meter tall Starships and 70 meters tall Super Heavy boosters. These massive vehicles are then transported roughly a mile down the road where they are stacked together at the launch site.
By building a second high bay, SpaceX will be able to simultaneously work on far more Starships and boosters than before.
Yesterday, some of the first signs of construction for the new high bay were spotted from the air.
SpaceX’s new high bay is being built just north of the first high bay. As of now, there isn’t all that much to see. Construction crews are breaking up concrete to prepare for the foundation of the new large structure.
SpaceX is known for their fast pace of development. They installed the Raptors on B4 overnight in preparation for Stacking. Unlike the prototypes, however, these structures need to last well beyond a single flight. As such, they take a bit more time. The first high bay construction first went vertical in July last year and was basically complete at the start of this year. With this high bay being much larger, it could take even longer, meaning it won’t be completed until well into 2022.
The construction of the new high bay likely won’t be holding them back. As they aim for an orbital launch this year, they are no longer working on eight or more prototypes at a time. By the time the rapid construction on so many vehicles is needed again, the new high bay should be nearing completion.
Featured image by Nic Ansuini
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