Musk has been saying for a while that at some point, they they will devote all their energy to the Starship. Falcon development has stopped at block 5, with no major iterations. It was never clear to me if they intended to wait until Starship was fully operational, or start sooner, relying on a fleet of reusable falcons to serve commercial customers & NASA.

As of April 2020 what is going on at the Hawthorne factory? Are they still making new Falcon cores? If not, how many launchable falcons are there in existence?

Also, are they making components for Starship at Hawthorne? Are these parts we see coming into Boca Chica coming from the California factory, or 3rd party sources?


Yes, SpaceX continues to build Falcon 9 first stages.

COO Gwynne Shotwell said in an interview in Spaceflight Now's SpaceX poised to accelerate launch cadence with series of Starlink missions that she expects SpaceX to produce 10 Falcon 9 first stages in 2020. This is down from about 16-18 per year that they had been building. Engineers and staff that used to work on supporting the higher production rate have been reassigned to other areas.

The company says it plans to build around 10 new Falcon 9 first stages in Hawthorne next year. That’s down from around 16 to 18 new first stages that SpaceX manufactured a couple of years ago. The reduction in the booster build rate has allowed SpaceX to reassign engineers and technicians to other roles within the company, officials said.

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As for Starship, the Hawthorne factory is responsible for building the Raptor engine, which powers Starship. Raptors are built there, sent to McGregor for testing and then shipped to the launch site.

Other parts of Starship seem to be either built onsite in Boca Chica, TX or built in Cocoa, FL and transported by ship to Texas.


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