What SpaceX Is Now Doing & Why It Changes Everything!
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To make space travel less expensive and fast, SpaceX plans to reuse its Starship, meaning the upper stage will return to earth after each mission and take off again. However, all this plan depends on a collection of black hexagonal tiles that will prevent the Starship from overheating on its re-entry into the earth. SpaceX has been making them in a secret facility it calls the Bakery!
Join us as we explore SpaceX Insane factory that will produce the heat shielding ceramic tiles that hold up the future of SpaceX!
When the Starship is finished, it will be insanely powerful and massive. It will cover millions of miles in space as it fulfills Musk’s dream of colonizing Mars by transporting both passengers and cargo to the planet.
Musk even wants the Starship to go farther to one of the moons of Jupiter after conquering the Red Planet.
While doing this, the Starship will reenter the earth’s atmosphere to undertake more missions. There is one problem with the entry that can spell disaster for the Starship: the tremendous amount of heat generated.
If not properly insulated from this heat, the Starship will be damaged, and it will not be reusable, shattering Musk’s dream.
However, SpaceX has come up with the idea of sticking black hexagonal tiles on the side of the Starship that is exposed to heat. The tiles will as a heat shield and deflect the heat, protecting the Starship.
For some years, SpaceX has been operating a facility called the Bakery, where it produces and tests the black hexagonal ceramic tiles that will cover a side of the Starship. This is quite out of character for a company that puts everything about its designs and manufacturing out there in the open. For example, Elon Musk, the CEO, has already explained how the lower stage of the Starship will be caught mid-air and even stating where his company got the inspiration for the mechanism.
So you might be surprised SpaceX is keeping hush-hush over its Bakery location and wonder why. However, SpaceX’s well-kept secret location has come into the open thanks to some intelligent spotters that have applied some ingenuity.
The ceramic tile-making Bakery has been located in Cape Canaveral in Florida all this while, and we know this courtesy of some forum posts.
The trail starts when a forum user spotted some SpaceX vehicles at a particular address and asked what the facility was used for. The address is 8550 Astronaut Boulevard, in Cape Canaveral.
Another forum quickly pointed out it was an old NASA NSLD Shuttle building but added it could be anything, as it contains machine shops, acoustic and vibration test facilities, and office space.
But we get more clarification from another use that adds a crucial piece of info that the facility is called “Starship Tile Facility” and invited readers to guess what SpaceX was doing there.
There were some good jokes about Musk and his flamethrowers, which we will ignore and go to the next clue in our unraveling mission.
Another forum member points out that since SpaceX has taken over the facility, the City Board has modified the zoning permits to develop up to 90,000 square feet of climate-controlled self-storage in the existing 161,000 square foot building.
SpaceX has also been granted permission for extensive AC modifications.
And, pay attention to this next one; the hazardous waste registration for the building mentions corrosive and ignitable materials.
The real scoop came when the same user posted an official inspection report in the thread and blew open what SpaceX has kept quiet.
The Cape Canaveral Bakery employs about 20 people and has been in operation since 2019. It is run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with three different shifts. We even see who SpaceX’s landlord is, Cape Canaveral Joint Venture.
From the report, all doubts about the function of the building are shot down as it states clearly that it is used to manufacture heat shield tiles for SpaceX.