SpaceX scales up Starfactory, aiming to build a Starship a day

With construction kicking off back in February, the addition of Starfactory will give Starbase an extra 100,000 square feet (9,290 sq m) of factory floor dedicated to helping Elon Musk’s SpaceX reach its extremely ambitious goal of producing one Starship every day.

Following Thursday’s successful flight during a SpaceX livestream, “When you step into this factory, it is truly inspirational. My heart jumps out of my chest,” said Kate Tice, the manager of SpaceX Quality Systems Engineering, “Now this will enable us to increase our production rate significantly as we build toward our long-term goal of producing one Ship per day and coming off the production line soon, Starship Version Two.”

Starbase with the new Starfactory front bottom as seen from the Starship Orbital Launch Pad
Starbase with the new Starfactory front bottom as seen from the Starship Orbital Launch Pad

SpaceX intends to start building Starship Version 2, which is designed to be easier to mass produce, at the new Starfactory. Version 2 is also said to hold more propellant, improved reliability, and a lower dry weight (weight without fuel). There are also some aerodynamic changes:

Jessie Anderson, SpaceX’s Falcon Structures Manufacturing Engineering Manager, announced there are already Ships and Super Heavy Boosters built with more coming off the line, ready for the next test.

Having just personally visited Starbase On June 7th, 2024, I can say that SpaceX is a buzzing hive of construction right now. Sadly, it even has a temporary construction material storage area blocking the famous STARBASE signage at the front of the complex. It now simply reads “ASE”.

Here’s a time lapse taken from the YouTube Starbase Live stream in May showing construction with a helicopter called Starchopper – of course that’s what it’s called – navigating through multiple cranes in motion while delivering rooftop AC units to Starfactory.

Notable Starbase facts:

– There are currently over 1,800 full-time employees at Starbase, making it the largest employer in the area.

– Starbase began construction in 2018 over top of Boca Chica Village, which was founded in 1967 before being destroyed by Hurricane Beulah that same year.

– Elon Musk was quoted in 2018 saying, “We’ve got a lot of land with nobody around, so if it blows up, it’s cool.” And in March of 2021, one did in fact blow up, which took 3 months to clean up. “At least the crater is in the right place,” Elon later tweeted about the incident.

Source: SpaceX via

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