May 16, 2020

Elon Musk unveils SpaceX's BFR spaceship main body tool

Elon Musk
the Big Falcon Rocket
Sophie Chapman
2 min
Elon Musk unveils SpaceX manufacturing mould
Founder of the US-based aerospace manufacturer, Elon Musk, has previously announced aims for his firm to reach Mars within a few years.

However, Musk h...

Founder of the US-based aerospace manufacturer, Elon Musk, has previously announced aims for his firm to reach Mars within a few years.

However, Musk has yet to unveil many aspects of the rockets that he aims to reach the planet with – until 8 April.

 The founder posted a picture on his Instagram account of what he dubbed the “main body tool for the BFR interplanetary spaceship”.

The tool is thought to be a manufacturing mould used to weave materials, such as carbon fibre, in the shape of the upper stage of the rocket.


The mould is anticipated to be located in a tent on an 18-acre plot at the Port of Los Angeles – a recent connection to SpaceX, working as a facility for the behemoth rocket.

The Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) spaceship is set to be 157.5 metres long and 30 metres wide and will host at least 100 passengers, announced by Musk in a talk last year.

The rocket on the BFR will feature 31 Raptor engines, will be able to loft 150 tonnes to low Earth orbit, and will be fully reusable.

Musk confirmed at the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas, that the firm aims for the spaceship to be ready for shore test flights by 2019.

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Jul 30, 2021

First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector

Elise Leise
3 min
First Solar will launch an advanced PV manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu to support Indian solar independence

First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV. 


Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’. 

A Bit of Background 

First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules


The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about. 

How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?

Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’. 


After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’. 


According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin. 


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