Monday, April 18, 2016

A Lot of Dirt

The opening of SpaceX's private spaceport in Boca Chica Beach, at the far southern tip of the Texas, has been delayed until at least 2018 because of a dirt problem.

Specifically, they need to do more  “soil surcharging" than expected. You've probably seen this process taking place without knowing its name. The purpose is to raise and stabilize an area before actual construction by taking out unsuitable soil and piling up huge piles of the right stuff, letting it settle for a while, and then removing all that isn't needed.

In this case, they will be bringing in 310,000 cubic yards (237 million liters or a bit over 17 thousand truckloads), equivalent to piling dirt on an American football field as high as a 13 story building. Picture 60,000 piles of dirt like the one in shown above.

After that, the buildings and launchpads can go in and the rockets can start flying. I can hardly wait!

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