If Elon Musk's anything like me (unlikely, but stay with me) he'll be realising about now that he's left his wallet in the glove box.
After years of setbacks, SpaceX today successfully launched its Falcon Heavy three-in-one rocket and delivered into orbit its cherry-red payload – Elon Musk's very own Tesla Roadster. After a morning of delays due to high winds, the mighty rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, in Florida, USA, at …
The center core did not run out of the main fuel. Apparently it ran out of the hypergolic igniter fuel TEA/TEB so that it could not ignite the rocket engines for the landing burn. As a result it crashed into the sea with 500 km/h.
PS. Have a look at the press conference with Elon.
Firstly, this is an awesome achievement and for any mission this is a win, they have loads of data that can improve the thing(s) that went wrong.
Visually, on the landing descent, the centre core looked like it was going to slam into the ocean. There's normally a noticeable amount of flame even when the engines aren't fired up - I'm guessing this must be a steady flow of the igniter fuel you mention, this was absent on the centre core to my untrained eyes so it must have run out a fair way before the landing zone.
All you rocket scientists out there
Assuming that the video feed from the car continues indefinitely, at what point will it have to stop to buffer owing to time delay?
Or will the stream just get a little slower every now and then? If the music is playing would this be noticed?
I can't get my head around it. Need more coffee.
It's already playing more slowly to us - just imperceptibly so, taking 1.00000000000001 [number made up] seconds on the ground to play 1 second of music from the car. It'll add up to an increasingly long lag.
On the return part of the loop, when it's flying towards us, it'll take 0.9999999999999999 [number made up] seconds on the ground to play 1 second of music as-played-in-car.
It's a bit like Doppler shifting sirens on ambulances going past you.
Surfing the news and came upon the live feed about 30 seconds before the launch.
Some restrained cheering, plus a heartfelt "fucking hell!" when the two boosters landed.
A big demerit for not having planned to watch it.
Would have been nice to see Pork Hogthrob in the passenger seat, though.
Apple Maps even at its worst has absolutely *nothing* on the howlers the Tesla SatNav can perpetrate.
Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism.
"Fortunately, I hear there's a completely new SatNav application due to land Real Soon Now, and being an honourable company Tesla will roll it out to all their cars using the OTA update mechanism."
Hopefully the space Tesla will still be in range for the OTA update, or it might get lost.
Elon Musk gave said in the news conference that they had run out of TEA/TEB (triethylaluminium / trielthylborane) ingnitor mix, so only one of the 3 engines started on the final approach. Reports of propellant running out are incorrect and being widely reported.. as usual. El Reg can do better! Running out of tea seems so HHGttG though...
At the time of writing, it was suspected the engines ran out of fuel. We weren't invited to the press conference. Can't think why. Anyway, it ran out of ignitor, so... close enough, ish. We've tweaked the article and another piece is coming.
To be fair the central core nearly made it back intact, this is merely proof that the technology can be improved.
One intriguing thing I did read is that the Falcon engines are made of materials that did not exist in 1967. A lot of the problems with the Russian N-1 were simple engineering issues such as not having filters on the fuel line(s) and with time could have been fixed.
The N1 had a lift capacity 1.3* that of the Falcon Heavy but was not intended to be reusable.
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